Across the country, January 18th to 24th is National Non-Smoking week, and this year, Alberta Health Services is focusing its efforts on getting Albertans to keep their homes and vehicles smoke free.
North Zone Medical Officer of Health Dr. Albert de Villiers says smokers think they’re not hurting anyone else when they smoke alone in their home or vehicle.
“But, if somebody else gets in the vehicle, they might still be exposed to some of the chemicals. It’s the same as in your house. Those chemicals get into the carpet; it gets into the drapes and into the furniture, and if somebody else comes and visits, even if you air the place out, the chemicals actually still stay there even though the smell might be gone.”
He adds that infants and young children crawling on the floor are particularly at risk from third-hand smoke exposure, as it can last for months.
Of course, the best way to keep yourself and others healthy is to quit altogether, and de Villiers says AHS is there to help.
“We know that it’s an addiction and it’s a difficult thing to kick. For most people it’s not easy; there’s some people that can just leave it, but we are there to help and support and make sure that you get all the support that you need to stop the habit.”
He adds that it’s best to find someone who has successfully quit to help you.
Resources are availabe at www.albertaquits.ca.