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June 14, 2011 > Second-hand smoke

Second-hand smoke

Submitted By Gwen Mitchell and Laurel Anderson

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has launched an ad campaign drawing attention to the dangers of second-hand smoke. At the core of the campaign is a powerful television commercial airing in English, Spanish and Vietnamese that graphically depicts the impact of second-hand smoke on children. The spot dramatizes the hazards faced by all nonsmokers exposed to others' tobacco smoke.

"Second-hand smoke is far more dangerous than most people think and contains hundreds of toxic chemicals, including more than 50 that cause cancer," says Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Health Officer for Santa Clara County. "In California each year, an estimated 3,600 non-smokers who live with smokers die from heart disease and approximately 400 die from lung cancer."

The ad campaign is part of Santa Clara County's INSPIRE Tobacco Prevention initiative, a comprehensive effort to prevent young people from smoking, help smokers quit and reduce everyone's exposure to second-hand smoke. The two-year effort brings together schools, healthcare facilities and community organizations to change environments and policies that affect tobacco use. The project is funded by a "Communities Putting Prevention to Work" grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Santa Clara County is one of only 50 communities in the nation and one of three counties in California to receive these American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.

The television commercial will air on the Comcast cable network in Santa Clara County, the Spanish-language broadcast networks Univision and Telemundo and several Vietnamese TV outlets through July 2011.

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