12 posts from May, 2012

World No Tobacco Day: 10 Facts About Secondhand Smoke

Posted May 31st, 2012 by

We’ve written about how smoking is the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US.  We’ve also highlighted some of the treatments that our 4,000+ members who report tobacco addiction have tried in their quest to quit.

The 2012 World No Tobacco Day poster.  This year’s theme, selected by the World Health Organization, focuses on exposing the tobacco industry’s interference with global tobacco control efforts.  Learn more by clicking the image.

But today, in honor of World No Tobacco Day, we’d like to focus on the global consequences of secondhand smoke, or the smoke that fills restaurants, offices, homes and other enclosed spaces when people burn tobacco products.  Given that there are one billion smokers around the world, secondhand smoke (also known as “passive smoking”) has become a serious public health issue.

How serious?  Deadly serious.  Here are ten hard-hitting facts from the World Health Organization (WHO), the sponsor of World No Tobacco Day.

  • There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.
  • There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, of which at least 250 are known to be harmful.
  • More than 600,000 premature deaths are caused by secondhand smoke each year.
  • In 2004, children accounted for 31% of the deaths attributable to secondhand smoke.
  • Over 40% of children around the world have at least one parent who smokes.
  • Almost half of all children regularly breathe air polluted by tobacco smoke.
  • Secondhand smoke can cause sudden death in infants and low birth weight in pregnant women.
  • Cigarettes, bidis and water pipes all produce secondhand smoke.
  • Less than 11% of the world’s population is protected by comprehensive national smoke-free laws.
  • Research shows that smoke-free laws do not harm business – and in fact, are popular.

Want to show your support for World No Tobacco Day?  Join the cause on Facebook.  If you live in the US, you can also check this map to see your state or city’s laws regarding smoking in restaurants, bars and workplaces.

A Peek at the May Newsletter for Members

Posted May 29th, 2012 by

What kinds of things do we cover in our monthly newsletters for members? Take a look at the excerpt below from our May edition. Also, in case you didn’t know, anyone – whether a PatientsLikeMe member or not – can view our current and past newsletters in our Newsletter Archive. See what we’ve been up to recently, and if you are member who’s not opted in to the newsletter, sign up today.


Why PatientsLikeMe?  Over the years, many of you have shared why you’re here. We recently found some videos of members like you who helped create the community of 150,000+ that we are today.  Here’s what they had to say:

“To be truthful, I’ve learned a whole lot more from other patients than I could ever have in a doctor’s office,”  judy4etsu told us.  According to pokie too, who has PDepilepsy and type 2 diabetes, “You’ve got to talk to somebody.  You’ve got to say, ‘I’m having a bad day.’”  For sontzie66, it’s the disease measurement tools like the Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (PDRS).  “I answered all the questions, and I got my rating of where I was,” she said.  “I had no idea what level I was with the disease.”

Thanks to all of our members for being so willing to share your voices through videos, blog interviews, forum posts and more. Your experience matters and sharing what it’s like to live in your shoes is helping to change healthcare for the better.

What’s it like for youAdd a story to your profile today.

Kate, Emma, Liz, Jeanette & Sharry

Kate"" Emma"" Jeanette"" Sharry""


Have you poked around the forum recently?  We now have lots of different rooms to meet your needs.  For example, did you know about the Lungs and Respiratory Room, Women’s Health and Pregnancy Room and Kidneys and Urinary Room?  Find your favorite room(s) and check out these active threads below.

Need help with something on the site?  Visit the PatientsLikeMe Site Help Room for answers from veteran members.


What do you want to learn at PatientsLikeMe?  This is a question we started asking new members during signup a few months ago.  Now, all of their comments are featured instantly on our new condition reports, and you have the opportunity to reply!  Visit the “Who’s New” tab (pictured above) to welcome a new member or offer a bit of advice.

In addition, there are now live feeds of all new profile stories related to that condition, including condition updates, symptom updates and QOL survey answers.  (See an example here.)  That way, you can keep up with your condition’s activity in real time and see other members’ comments, stories and replies all in one place.

Explore our revamped condition reports (while logged in) to try out these new interactive features!