Help me protect my child from secondhand cigarette smoke
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My 2 1/2 year old daughter and I have been experiencing problems for the last year with secondhand smoke coming from my neighbor’s home where she smokes inside. We live in a condo; the smoke travels from her home to a joined open attic space directly into my heating and laundry area, then into my home. I started this petition to create a movement towards making clean air inside multiunit housing mandatory in the city of Cotati, CA.
The cigarette smoke is making us sick and we cannot enjoy our usual activities let alone our home. My daughter has had bouts of airway infections since moving in. My lungs and throat hurt constantly. We cannot use our heater because it pulls smoky air from the attic and distributes it throughout our home. I have to heat our home with space heaters and tape off all the vents including my heater closet in order to stop the smoke from coming in but then the air in my home gets too stale and I have to open the vents up again. I run a medical grade hepafilter in my home 24/7 to try to remove as much secondhand smoke from the air as possible. Unfortunately, hepafilters don't remove all 4,000 of the chemicals found in tobacco because the particulates are too fine. Fifty of these chemicals are listed on the below link:
The smoky air even goes into our little courtyard because it drifts out of the vent holes under the eves of the attic.
I have tired many avenues over the last year in order to resolve this issue. Some of these avenues have been contacting: My neighbor, my city, the mayor, my senator Barbara Boxer, my state Rep., a lawyer, the city building department, my HOA, and our property management company. I have concluded that the only way my daughter and I will get protection from the assault of secondhand smoke in our home is to change the laws in Cotati because due to tough financial times moving is not a option. I absolutely support everyone’s right to choose to smoke. However, I should have the right to choose if my child or I smoke especially in our own home. In addition nothing I do in my home is killing my neighbor but their secondhand smoke will shorten our lives and it is well documented that it is very destructive to young children’s health. I love my daughter more than anything in the world and I don't want her health affected by my neighbor’s decision to smoke cigarettes.
This petition can make a difference in the overall health of any Cotati child living with secondhand smoke coming from a neighbors shared wall or airway. Every child deserves the best chances at a healthy happy life even if their family cannot afford to provide them with a freestanding house to live in. Secondhand smoke takes away from the health of anyone around it but especially children. Smoking increases the risk for asthma, lower airway infections, ear infections, eventually heart attack, stroke, and cancer. Please see the link below for more statistics and information on the affects of secondhand smoke on involuntary smokers:
A quick quote from the Surgeon Generals report (see link):
“Secondhand smoke has been designated as a known human carcinogen (cancer-causing agent) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Toxicology Program and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).”
I am asking for your support in asking the Mayor and the Cotati City Council to change our city ordinances to make smoking tobacco inside apartments/condo’s with shared common airways or walls illegal in order to protect the health of involuntary smokers like myself and my daughter.
Thank you for your support and if you feel inclined please share this with friends and family.
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Alicia Orozco needs your help with “SUSAN HARVEY: Help me protect my child from secondhand cigarette smoke”. Join Alicia and 602 supporters today.