Parents may soon find themselves the object of their pediatrician’s attention, thanks to a program being introduced to pediatric offices across the country. The program, Clinical Effort Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure (CEASE), aims to teach pediatricians to help parents quit smoking and establish and enforce no-smoking rules in the home and car. CEASE is the result of 10 years of research, led by Jonathan Winickoff, MD, MPH, of the
“The goals of this program are to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure of children and to give every parent the best possible chance of quitting smoke,” says Winickoff, who is the chair of the
More than 30 percent of children are exposed to secondhand smoke at home. Winickoff’s study, which appears in the August 1 Journal of Pediatrics, found that in child healthcare settings, helping parents to quit smoking benefited the entire family. Quitting smoking adds an average of seven years to a parent’s life, improves the health of all of the household members, eliminates the majority of secondhand smoke exposure of the children, helps reduce a pregnant mother’s risk of delivering a low-birth-weight and premature babies, eliminates the greatest cause of house fire mortality, improves the financial resources of the family, and decreases the chances that teens will pick up the habit.
“Secondhand tobacco smoke kills three times more children than all childhood cancers combined,” says Winickoff. “While laws protect adults in the workplace, no laws protect children in their own homes and cars.”
Finding opportunities to address smoking cessation with parents is a challenge. Parents often neglect their own health, and some even lack health insurance or a primary care clinician. Parents who smoke often see their child’s health care clinician more frequently than their own, which is why CEASE provides the perfect opportunity to address smoking with all family members. In addition to guidance from the pediatrician and clinical team, some of the benefits of the program include linking parents to free State quit lines, getting nicotine replacement medications such as the patch or gum, as well as providing them with written materials to help them be successful in quitting.
“This program is now available for everyone to use, and the science behind it is compelling,” says Winickoff. “I hope that every child healthcare office in the country adopts the program so that every family can become tobacco-free.”
To find out more about the program, visit http://www.massgeneral.org/ceasetobacco/. The CEASE program is partnered with the
Founded in 1811, the MGH is the third oldest general hospital in the
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