Smokey Bear, Smokey Robinson, Smokey and the Bandit — these smoky icons may be a few generations past their prime, but their impact on pop culture still survives. Unfortunately, so does second- and thirdhand smoke.
New research shows that even if a woman never smoked, lifetime exposure to secondhand smoke (childhood exposure for 10 or more years, adult home exposure for 20 or more years, adult work exposure 10 or more years) increases her risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or a tubal ectopic pregnancy. This just adds to the long list of secondhand smoke’s repercussions: heart disease, stroke and lung cancer in adults, and asthma, respiratory and ear infections, and even SIDS in children.
Secondhand smoke becomes thirdhand when it permeates fabric, carpets, even wallboard and paint. Kids ingest it from putting contaminated objects or their hands into their mouth. This “smoke” damages their DNA and increases cancer risk.
How can you protect yourself and your children? Insist on a smoke-free environment at home (if you use marijuana, try edible forms). Have to convince your partner? Fight this battle with love, but fight it and win.
If you live in one of the 12 states without smoke-free workplaces and/or restaurants, email your state representatives and complain about this serious public health issue!
If your home is polluted with second- or thirdhand smoke, wash all fabric, carpets and upholstery, your child’s furniture, stuffed animals and toys, and repaint.
If neighbors’ smoke drifts into your residence (adjacent apartments often are sources), talk with them about finding a solution. Everyone deserves a smoke-free environment!
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If you’re one of the 250,000 people in North America who had weight-loss surgery last year, it’s important to avoid nutritional deficiencies that can take a big toll on your health. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had gastric lap-band surgery (his stomach was constricted, so less would pass through) in 2013, may not have gotten the message. News reports indicate the governor — who doesn’t like veggies and only eats green beans, lettuce and cucumbers — may not be monitoring his intake of nutrients. Such a nutritional lane closure can damage the digestive thruway. (Sorry, Guv, even if we love you, we couldn’t resist.)
Such problems are pretty common. In one recent survey, 50 percent of gastric surgery patients were deficient in 13 essential nutrients, such as protein, vitamin D-3 and calcium, but consumed too much sodium and fat. These imbalances increase an individual’s risk for cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and weak bones, and may contribute to the development of everything from cancer to kidney stones and, yes, cognitive impairment.
Some post-gastric-surgery tips to make sure you get the nutrition you need:
♦ Don’t drink liquid while eating; you may not have room for important foods.
♦ Eat plenty of low-fat proteins, like fish and skinless chicken, whole grains, nonfat dairy and beans.
♦ Take a multivitamin with iron (half in the morning, half at night) plus supplements of calcium (three doses of 400 mg daily), vitamin B-12 and 900 mg DHA omega-3.
Then you (and Gov. Christie) will be able to keep the bridge between weight-loss surgery and good health open.
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.