Campaign signals breath of fresh air
Wednesday, 05 June 2013
Hampshire County Council is backing a new campaign that aims to raise awareness of the dangers of Secondhand Smoke to children and to encourage smokers to stop smoking in their home and car.
Secondhand Smoke is emitted every time someone smokes and is a mix of 4,000 chemical compounds, irritants and toxins, and contains 50 known carcinogens. Children are particularly vulnerable to Secondhand Smoke. Nationally each year, smoking causes an extra 300,000 GP visits and 9,500 hospital admissions for children - and an additional cost to the NHS of £26 million.
The 'Smokefree Homes and Cars' campaign has been launched this week by Public Health England and highlights the fact that Secondhand Smoke, at home or in the car, puts children at increased risk of lung disease, meningitis and cot death. It aims to help people learn more about the dangers of Secondhand Smoke and protect others from the effects.
In Hampshire estimated smoking rates vary from 13.6 per cent in Test Valley to 24.3 per cent in Rushmoor. To help motivate smokers to quit, the campaign offers a free Smokefree Kit, which includes information, guidance and tools to help people stop smoking.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst's name, Executive Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing at Hampshire County Council said:
"Over eighty percent of Secondhand Smoke is invisible and has no smell, so even if the air looks clean and clear your children could still be exposed to harmful cancer-causing toxins and poisons.
"Children are at an increased risk from second hand smoke because not only do they breath faster and so take in more toxins than adults, but also their immune systems are not as developed and so protect them less.
"No level of Secondhand Smoke is safe for children and this is a great time and an excellent reason, for the two thirds of smokers who want to quit, to take the first steps to a smoke-free life. Not only will this have a positive impact on your children's health but it will mean that they will be less likely to smoke themselves - children of smokers are ninety per cent more likely to smoke themselves."