Kids are particularly susceptible to the risks of secondhand smoke, and requiring smoke-free environments for foster homes has been an overdue step in Minnesota. Research shows that secondhand smoke exposure is a known cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), potentially fatal respiratory infections, frequent and severe asthma attacks and frequent ear infections. Children in foster care also are more likely to have pre-existing medical conditions.
Fortunately, in 2014 a new law was passed that adds a smoke-free environment to the list of requirements for foster homes. Nearly 8,000 of Minnesota’s most vulnerable children will now have protections against the known harms of secondhand smoke. ClearWay Minnesota is working with local communities to aid in implementing the new law.