Tens of thousands of Quebec children exposed to second-hand smoke in the car
Survey conducted for Mount Sinai Hospital shows one in five Quebec smokers lights up in the car with children present
MONTREAL, Sept. 9, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Mount Sinai Hospital Montreal is alarmed by the fact that many Quebec smokers, especially younger smokers, remain oblivious to numerous efforts to inform them of the damaging health effects of smoking. According to the survey by Léger on smoking in Quebec, one-quarter of smokers light up in the presence of minors, and one in five smoke in the car with children present. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, of which at least 250 are known to be toxic and more than 50 are known carcinogens. Furthermore, children who are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke are at greater risk of developing respiratory diseases such as asthma.
The Web survey, conducted for Mount Sinai Hospital Montreal, which specializes in treating respiratory ailments, found that 65% of Quebec smokers took up the habit at age 17 or younger, and that 27% of smokers aged 16 to 17 believe smoking is only slightly or not at all a health risk.
"In spite of the efforts to warn people against the health dangers of smoking, diagnoses of lung diseases has grown steadily in recent years," explains Dr. Marc Baltzan, pneumologist at Mount Sinai Hospital-Montreal. "It's appalling when you think that even today, one in five smokers, mostly aged between 16 and 24, believe smoking will not increase the risk of developing a serious illness. We have to step up our efforts and introduce new ways of making youth aware of the dangers of smoking," he adds.
Smoking-related respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the most common of which are chronic bronchitis and emphysema, are the third cause of death in Quebec and kill one Canadian every hour. Worldwide, smoking is responsible for 22% of cancer deaths and 71% of lung cancer deaths, according to the WHO. The Commission d'étude sur les services de santé et les services sociaux du Québec reports that the direct and indirect health costs of smoking have reached $5 billion annually. Quitting smoking is the first step in preventing and treating COPD.
The Web survey, which was conducted between July 4 and 14, 2013, polled 1,004 Quebec smokers aged 16 and over. Of these, 66% were regular smokers, who smoked an average of 16.6 cigarettes every day.
The survey's findings:
|A sign of dependence: 49% of smokers have their first cigarette of the day within 30 minutes of waking up, with more than a third do so within five minutes of waking up|
|45% of smokers say they are concerned about their weight|
|21% of smokers hide their habit from family and friends, and 11% hide it from their employer|
|On average, smokers go outside three times a day to smoke during a workday, and close to 20% go out four or more times|
|61% of smokers describe their smoking as a bad habit or a drug|
|22% say they plan their schedule around smoke breaks|
|34% of those aged 16 to 17 who smoke do so to feel like they belong, or because their friends or coworkers smoke|
|80% of Quebec smokers have tried to quit an average of 4.5 times, and only one-half told their family about it the last time|
|For 61% of smokers, feeling physical symptoms or being diagnosed with a serious illness would be their primary motivation to quit|
Click here for the survey
About Mount Sinai Hospital Montreal
Since it was established in 1909, Mount Sinai has always been synonymous with excellence. Today, the hospital is a state-of-the-art institution, specializing in respiratory care, palliative care and long-term care, accredited by Accreditation Canada with the designation "Exemplary Standing." Mount Sinai is a 107-bed, McGill University-affiliated hospital where innovative research and out-patient services play an increasingly key role.
At Mount Sinai Hospital Montreal, it's not just about what we do, it's how we do it. We take a global approach to health care that considers the patients' needs and their environment. We do more than treat patients: we care for people.
For more information, please visit www.sinaimontreal.ca.
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