This article was written by Arian T. Moore for EnlivenMagazine:
I never knew how serious asthma was until recently. Growing up, one of my best friends had asthma. I had no idea what it was. I only knew that she had to use some kind of pump and that her mom, who was an avid smoker, had to smoke outside.
I learned recently that asthma is not like having bad allergies. It’s an illness that affects African Americans at alarming rates. According to the Office of Minority Health, from 2003-2005, African American children had a death rate 7 times that of non-Hispanic White children. They also report that black children have a 260% higher emergency department visit rate, a 250% higher hospitalization rate, and a 500% higher death rate from asthma, as compared with White children.
Researchers point to environmental factors, such as pollution in urban areas, as well as access to healthcare to be contributors to blacks being disproportionately affected by the disease. One proven fact is that exposure to second hand smoke can be detrimental to an asthmatic child and can even be one of the factors that eventually cause asthma. The Office of Minority Health reported that children exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke exposure are at increased risk for acute lower respiratory tract infections, such as asthma.
Smoking has become such a taboo topic in our country. Personally, I grew up in a house full of cigarette smoke and to this day the smell of it makes me gag. I believe that everyone has the God given right to destroy their bodies, but I do think that your rights end where my rights begin and smoking in public places or in the midst of other people is simply selfish.
Asthma is serious and children die in our communities at an alarming rate from the disease. If smoking is one of the known factors contributing to the disease, perhaps we all can make an effort in protecting ourselves and our children from second hand smoke.
Recently, a precious baby girl, DaVae lost her life to asthma at seven years old. Her mom, Jenée wanted to share the story to help other parents with asthmatic children and to shed light on the seriousness of this disease…READ FULL POST HERE
Photo credit: Food and Drug Administration