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Head Start updates will help protect children from tobacco smoke

Millions of kids are returning to school this week, and for families who rely on Head Start, the learning won’t stop at school.  Now, Head Start will provide families with more information about  secondhand smoke and how to protect their kids from the dangers it presents.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finalized a major update to its Head Start Standards, including a provision that has the potential to help families reduce the amount of secondhand smoke that Head Start students are exposed to at home.

The updated standards include a requirement that Head Start programs offer parents opportunities to learn about the health risks associated with secondhand smoke, including health and developmental consequences, and things they can do to keep their homes safe. Truth Initiative joined with 77 other nonprofits, government agencies, corporations and individuals in calling for tobacco measures to be included in the updated standards.

“With kids across the country headed back to school, the Department of Health and Human Services has taken a big leap to improve the health of a million families. Everyone deserves to live in a smoke-free environment. Head Start students will be healthier and ready for school because it informs parents about the known harms of tobacco smoke,” said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative.