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Fresh thinking: Adult smokers pledge to healthier indoor air for kids

15,000 pledge kits going home to curb tobacco smoke exposure

SNOHOMISH COUNTY--- Child care facilities, health care providers, and schools in three cities of Snohomish County have volunteered to distribute or stock 15,000 “pledge packets” promoting a healthier breathing environment for children in Arlington, Darrington and Marysville. Funded by a state grant to Snohomish Health District, the packets contain educational materials about secondhand tobacco smoke. Distribution begins Oct. 13.

“We literally are sending the message home,” said project lead Deanne Thompson, tobacco prevention educator at Snohomish Health District. “Six thousand children die each year in the United States from exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke --- and we believe that when indoor smokers understand they contribute to that sad statistic, they will at least take their smoking outdoors, away from children in the same house or car,” she said.

The packets include a card pledging to maintain a smoke-free home, an information sheet, an air freshener for hanging in a car, and a magnetized picture frame to hold a child’s photo. All the pieces bear facts about the dangers of secondhand tobacco smoke.

Four thousand postcards with similar messages will be available to older students in middle and high schools in the same cities when school pictures are scheduled. The cards show a student’s school photo inside the clear wrapper of a cigarette pack as a reminder to keep secondhand tobacco smoke away from children. CHILD Profile, the state’s health promotion and immunization registry, also will assist in the Health District campaign by mailing 8,000 photo magnets and letters in English and Spanish to children ages infant through 6 in Arlington, Marysville and Darrington.

This is the second phase of an educational campaign that began in June, 2003. The campaign will be evaluated by a telephone survey in early 2004. For more information about the Health District’s tobacco control and prevention program, call 425.339.8632.

Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at