A Wife Loved Like The Church

I’m gonna wash that smoke right outta my hair!

Posted on: August 19, 2008

I love a lot of things about my house and neighborhood. How close we are to the park, the ability to host a number of people, having a fenced in backyard, and having nice neighbors. However, one HUGE downside is that our adjoining neighbors smoke. This pretty much sucks.

They smoke on their back porch multiple times a day, forcing me to shut our doors and windows for anywhere from 10-30 minutes at a time. If we’re outside when they smoke we inevitably go inside, because the smoke quickly makes its way over. I think there is some kind of science to that… smoke will always follow non-smokers.

It upsets me a lot, because I don’t ever want Julia in the backyard while they are there, and I know that come this time next year keeping her from going out there will be next to impossible. Plus, why should I? After all, it is MY yard.

The good news is, it looks like we will be placing a barrier along our fence line this fall. In preparation for next year’s garden, we decided having a barrier would help us maintain the garden while providing privacy and a smoke free environment. While Jonathan and I have bounced this idea around since last summer, we never went through with it, mostly because we didn’t want to upset our neighbors. But since Grandma got here and realized my dilemma, she took the matter into her own hands. She flat out told Jonathan and me “you’re putting up a barrier, deal with it” – but in her sweet Grandma sorta way.

I realize that some of the smoke will still make its way over (as that is the science of smoke), but at least I can rest assured that it will be much, much less.

After reading the ALA’s website, it makes me even happier to know that we are taking every step possible to shield ourselves from secondhand smoke.

Secondhand Smoke Fact Sheet

Secondhand smoke, also know as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers. It is involuntarily inhaled by nonsmokers, lingers in the air hours after cigarettes have been extinguished and can cause or exacerbate a wide range of adverse health effects, including cancer, respiratory infections, and asthma.

Secondhand smoke has been classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of cancer in humans (Group A carcinogen).

Secondhand smoke exposure causes disease and premature death in children and adults who do not smoke. Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.

Secondhand smoke causes approximately 3,400 lung cancer deaths and 22,700-69,600 heart disease deaths in adult nonsmokers in the United States each year.

Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at work are at increased risk for adverse health effects. Levels of secondhand smoke in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces.

Since 1999, 70 percent of the U.S. workforce worked under a smoke-free policy, ranging from 83.9 percent in Utah to 48.7 percent in Nevada. Workplace productivity was increased and absenteeism was decreased among former smokers compared with current smokers.

Eighteen states – Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Washington and Vermont – as well as the District of Columbia prohibit smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Montana and Utah prohibit smoking in most public places and workplaces, including restaurants; bars will go smokefree in 2009. New Hampshire prohibits smoking in some public places, including all restaurants and bars. Four states – Florida, Idaho, Louisiana and Nevada – prohibit smoking in most public places and workplaces, including restaurants, but exempt stand-alone bars. Fifteen states partially or totally prevent (preempt) local communities from passing smokefree air ordinances stronger than the statewide law. Iowa, Nebraska and Oregon have passed legislation prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars, but the laws have not taken effect yet.

Secondhand smoke is especially harmful to young children. Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 18 months of age, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year, and causes 430 sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) deaths in the United States annually.That pretty much scares the bejebbies outta me!

Secondhand smoke exposure may cause buildup of fluid in the middle ear, resulting in 790,000 physician office visits per year. Secondhand smoke can also aggravate symptoms in 400,000 to 1,000,000 children with asthma.

In the United States, 21 million, or 35 percent of, children live in homes where residents or visitors smoke in the home on a regular basis. Approximately 50-75 percent of children in the United States have detectable levels of cotinine, the breakdown product of nicotine in the blood.

Research indicates that private research conducted by cigarette company Philip Morris in the 1980s showed that secondhand smoke was highly toxic, yet the company suppressed the finding during the next two decades.

The current Surgeon General’s Report concluded that scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Short exposures to secondhand smoke can cause blood platelets to become stickier, damage the lining of blood vessels, decrease coronary flow velocity reserves, and reduce heart rate variability, potentially increasing the risk of heart attack. – Just perfect.

3 Responses to "I’m gonna wash that smoke right outta my hair!"

What about just getting one of those giant fans they use in cattle barns and blow it in their direction so the smoke doesn’t come your way? 🙂

-Alicia S.

You know, I actually thought about that at one point. Just blowing all the smoke back their way. 🙂

I am totally with you here! PUT UP THE BARRIER! I cant believe there are people who still smoke! LOL! I am the same way with my little one, I will do anything to shield her from a path of smokiness! It is a serious matter no matter what!! That sucks that they are so darn close to you! I agree with the fan idea to!! LOL!!

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