Keep it Clean for Kids

Do you know what smoking and cigarettes can do to the inside of your body? As some of the youngest members of the UMMC community tell us, there's nothing good to come from smoking.

Secondhand Smoke is No Joke!

Secondhand smoke is more than just a drag to be around! According to the National Lung Association, each year it causes:

  • 790,000 doctor's office visits per year for ear infections in children
  • More than 200,000 flare-ups of childhood asthma
  • 150,000 – 300,000 respiratory tract infections in children under 18 months of age
  • 430 cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Within 20 Minutes of Quitting

Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.

  • 20 Minutes After Quitting, your heart rate drops.
  • 12 Hours After Quitting, the carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 Weeks to 3 Months After Quitting, your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve.

Smoke-Free Suggestions

Here are some tips to keep in mind if quitting is one of your goals:

  • Put it in writing. Write down your reasons for quitting on index cards so you can refer to them when you are tempted to smoke.
  • Explore your motives for smoking. Keep a journal before you quit to document your feelings about your habit. Include details about where you smoke most often, when you smoke, with whom and why. Review your diary after four or five days to learn what triggers your cravings for nicotine.
  • Modify your behavior. Write down your "triggers" on the left side of a piece of paper and on the right side, jot down how you plan to either avoid or cope with those situations or feelings that send you reaching for nicotine.
  • In the week or so leading up to your quit date, ditch your favorite cigarettes for other, less-appealing varieties. For example, buy menthol cigarettes if you normally don't smoke them. Buy low-tar filters or light versions of your favorite brand or try new, unusual brands that you've never smoked before. This practice will make the habit of smoking seem less appealing and easier to stop.
  • Spread the news. Tell everyone you know you're quitting to develop a network of family members, co-workers and friends who can support your efforts.
  • Get rid of smoking accessories. Throw out all of your ashtrays, matches and lighters.
  • Go cold turkey. Despite an urge to gradually cut back, stopping completely on your chosen quit date is the best approach to kicking the habit for good.
  • Reward yourself. Come up with reasons to celebrate your quitting at regular intervals. For example, a week after you quit, go to the movies or bowling. A month after quitting, go to a nice hotel for an evening or treat yourself to a shopping spree. A year after quitting, go on a nice vacation with the money you save from no longer buying packs of cigarettes.
  • If you relapse, don't panic. Identify what it was that triggered your desire to smoke again and come up with a way to cope with the trigger. The urge to smoke — no matter how overwhelming — will pass after a few minutes, whether or not you give into it.
  • Seek help. If you aren't able to quit on your own, try using aids such as nicotine gum or the nicotine patch. If you still aren't able to quit, see your doctor about other options. You may also want to join a support group. Whatever you do, don't give up!

Learn more about our Tobacco Health Program and treatment options. 

Questions about the program?

Please call our nurse/coach, Julia Melamed, at 443-827-3933.