EPA launches initiative to encourage making homes smoke-free

WASHINGTON: The EPA is putting the spotlight on secondhand smoke

and its effects on children's health in a new environmental outreach

initiative that will use PR in tandem with a television and print

campaign.



The effort is planned to motivate millions of parents to pledge to keep

their homes smoke-free. "The Smoke-Free Home Pledge" campaign was

launched October 16 during a press conference held by EPA chief

Christine Todd Whitman at the Children's National Medical Center in

Washington, DC.



According to EPA statistics, 12 million children are exposed to

second-hand smoke on a daily basis. This leads to serious health

consequences, such as ear infections, pneumonia, and asthma.



The EPA has released a new brochure and a community action kit that

includes details on how to set up a local pledge effort. The campaign

has thousands of partners, including public health and tobacco control

groups.



More than 300,000 brochures have been sent out so far. Each partner

group will use its own communications initiatives to inform local media

and the public about the campaign. Groups supporting the initiative

include the Centers for Disease Control, the Department of Health and

Human Services, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology,

the American Lung Association, and the National Cancer Institute.



The EPA has also established a smoke-free hotline, 1-800-513-1157, that

will take pledges from parents. The parents will then be given a

certificate and supporting materials for calling the hotline.



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