Dear Editor,

September 29th marks World Heart Day. One way to protect your heart is to avoid exposure to secondhand smoke.  

According to the CDC, each year there are approximately 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease caused by secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains approximately 7,000 chemicals, several of which are known to cause cancer. In addition to causing heart disease, exposure to secondhand smoke also has an effect on your blood and blood vessels. This can increase your risk of a heart attack.

Here in Knox County approximately ten residents die each year due to secondhand smoke exposure. We know that secondhand smoke at any level is not safe. 

One of the best ways to protect our community from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke is to have strong smoke-free air policies for all public places. Things you can do to protect your heart from secondhand smoke include visiting places that are smoke-free, having a smoke-free home, and not allowing anyone to smoke in your vehicle.  

Exposure to secondhand smoke can have deadly consequences and negative effects on the heart. This September mark World Heart Day by ensuring you and your family are protected from secondhand smoke! 

Sincerely,

Krystle Russell, Knox County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition

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