By John Ostapkovich

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The City Health Department is launching a new multi-media campaign to reduce the effects of second-hand smoke on children.

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About 1/5 of Philadelphia’s low-income kids are exposed to second hand smoke.  The campaign, to both educate smokers and direct them to free available help, will involve TV, radio and transit, says Dr. Giridhar Mallya, the Health Department’s director of policy and planning.

The ads largely focus on how children are affected by constant exposure to second-hand smoke.  He says the radio spots feature two people: “One is a nine-year-old child who has so many problems from his asthma that he often has to go the Children’s Hospital just to get a little healthier.  And the second person is a day-care worker and she describes what it’s like when one child comes in in the morning and just reeks of smoke.”

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He says there’s been anti-smoking progress, but it’s a stubborn problem.

“We still have the highest rates of adult smoking among the ten largest cities in the country.  Tobacco use kills more Philadelphians every year than HIV, car accidents, diabetes and pneumonia combined.”

Click here to learn more about SmokeFreePhilly, or call the Pennsylvania Free Quitline 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-800-784-8669.

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