ORLANDO – Father’s Day is a celebration of all dads for their dedication to their families and for playing an important role in their children’s lives. This is also the perfect time for each father to remember to take care of their health in order to be available for their kids. Unfortunately, tobacco use among men remains a serious problem: one in five men currently smoke, more than 269,000 men die every year from smoking, and 216,000 kids in the United States and 14,200 kids in Florida have already lost their dad to smoking.
“If you are a dad that smokes, it is not too late to quit. Choose to be healthy by quitting the tobacco habit and take care of your kid’s health by preventing their exposure to second-hand smoke,” said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Orange County Health Department.
All fathers can take a number of effective actions to protect their kids from becoming tobacco users and also protect them now from second-hand smoke. You can make a big difference in the choices your kids make.
- If you smoke, quit. If you can’t quit, keep trying.
- Maintain a totally smoke-free home (even if you smoke).
- Educate your child about the dangers of cigarette smoking.
- Listen to what your child says and does about smoking and encourage your child when he/she makes good choices.
- Ask your child about his/her friends and their attitudes toward smoking. Discuss peer pressure and how to deal with it effectively.
- Never smoke in the car, especially when your child is a passenger.
- Make sure your kids’ schools have strong and well-enforced no-smoking rules for kids and staff.
- Support federal, state, and local tobacco-prevention efforts.
For information on smoking cessation visit the Florida Quitline at www.quitnow.net/florida or call 1-877-U-CAN-NOW or 1-877-822-6669. For information on the all in tobacco initiative in Orange County visit http://www.allintohealth.org
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