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Poisoning Our Children: The Perils of Secondhand Smoke

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation - Nancy Snyderman, MD. 12 minutes playing time

This video focuses on children and the serious health effects of exposure to secondhand smoke. It was developed to help inform parents of the risks to children, especially children with compromised respiratory systems. It specifically addresses the links between smoking in the home and incidences of pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, and ear infections in children. Copies have been distributed by the EPA and the video has been shown in hospitals throughout the States. For more information about this video, please visit their web site or call 1-800-438-4318.

The magnitude of this serious issue is portrayed through a combination of interviews with experts (e.g., Jocyelyn Elders, MD, former Surgeon General and Stan Glantz, MD, expert in ETS) and testimonials from parents facing difficult, challenging situations such as smoking spouses, grandparents etc. and children with severe asthma.

Here are some additional comments and suggestions regarding this video:

* All data is American, so Canadian audiences should be advised that prevalence rates used in this video are about 10 times higher than those that pertain to Canada.

* High use of medical language may be difficult for some to understand.

* Excellent illustrations and animated graphics to show how smoke harms the body

* Describes exposing children to secondhand smoke in the home as tantamount to child abuse

* Profiles real-life situations dealing with relatives that smoke

* Underscores that there is no easy solution, and that the only recourse is to make your home smoke-free

NB: there was little discussion on how to accomplish this goal, or what action steps to take, so if using this video allow time to discuss solutions and where to get help and suggestions for creating a smoke-free home.