World Cancer Day is internationally observed on 4 February each year and this year the Cayman Islands Cancer Society is joining in this observance.
The theme this year is topical for the Caymanian community as it concerns the prevention of childhood exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.
Almost half of the world’s children breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke, including many in the Cayman Islands and often times this exposure occurs at home.
The simple message, directed primarily at parents, is: ‘Second-hand smoke is a health hazard for you and your family. There is no safe level of exposure to second-hand smoke. Give your child a smoke-free childhood.’
Only 100 per cent smoke-free environments protect your children and family from the very serious health problems that breathing second-hand smoke causes.
It is important that no one is allowed to smoke in any indoor place where children may be present including the home and vehicles in which they may travel. These places need to be 100 per cent smoke-free.
Children, as do all living beings, have a fundamental right to breathe clean air. Children can be fully protected against inhaling second-hand smoke by implementing 100 per cent smoke-free environments in the places they spend time including public places, homes, vehicles and childcare settings and schools. Air cleaning and increased ventilation are not satisfactory means of protecting against second-hand smoke exposure.
There is evidence to show that smoking in vehicles raises the concentration of second-hand smoke in the vehicle to levels of small particles above outdoor air standards and comparable to levels found in smoky bars.
On this World Cancer Day, we invite all interested persons to make their voice heard in support of legislation that will make the Cayman Islands smoke-free. We particularly urge parents to become a role model for your children by not smoking – the life you save could be your child’s.
The Cayman Islands Cancer Society