Hampshire Health and Wellbeing

Smoke free homes

Make your home smoke free and protect your family

Hampshire County Council is working in partnership with Southampton City Council in a new campaign to encourage people to consider making their homes smoke free.

The best way to protect your family from the dangers of cigarette smoke is to make your home smoke free – that means going right away from the house to smoke. No level of cigarette smoke is safe. Smoking in front of children also sends a message that smoking is acceptable, rather than a deadly addictive habit.

Smoking is the single biggest killer in accidental fires in the home. If you do choose to smoke stub cigarettes out properly, dispose of them carefully and always ensure that you keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.

  • What DOESN’T work:

    • opening a window
    • standing by the door
    • only smoking in one room
    • only smoking when your children aren’t there
    • putting on a fan
  • What DOES work:

    • make sure you always go right out of the house to smoke (even if the children aren’t at home)
    • tell everyone your home is smoke free and ask visitors not to smoke in the house
    • put an ashtray ready to take outside to collect your cigarette ends
    • put a coat by the back door
 

Did you know? Cigarette smoke can hang around for up to 2 hours in the house or car, even if you leave a window open.

Why is cigarette smoke so bad for children?

Sleeping baby

Children have very little control over breathing in cigarette smoke so it is up to adults to protect them. Babies and young children's lungs and immune systems are not fully developed. Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible.

  • children are more likely to get coughs and colds and ear infections
  • the chance of your child getting asthma doubles
  • babies are more at risk of cot death
  • children are more at risk of meningitis
  • tobacco smoke contains 4,000 chemicals of which over 50 are known to cause cancer

The benefits begin the minute your home becomes smoke free!

  • a smoke free home is a healthier home for you and your children
  • your health will improve if you smoke less cigarettes
  • your children won’t see you smoking and are less likely to copy you
  • a smoke free home is a fresher, brighter home that doesn't need decorating so often
  • a smoke free home is a safer home - more fires in the home are caused by cigarettes than any other single cause
  • a smoke free car is more pleasant and does not smell of stale smoke
  • your pets’ health will also benefit!

What if I can’t go outside?

Quit smoking medication might help cope with the craving for a cigarette - contact your local stop smoking service for advice

What are some of the toxic chemicals found in secondhand smoke?

  • Tar is known to cause both cancer and lung damage
  • Carbon monoxide is a gas found in car exhaust fumes
  • Benzene is found in petrol fumes and causes leukaemia
  • Ethanol is used in anti-freeze
  • Ammonia is used in cleaning products
  • Formaldehyde is an embalming fluid
  • Hydrogen cyanide is an industrial pollutant
  • Arsenic is effectively rat poison
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) is found in diesel exhaust

For more information on smoke free homes and our Step out campaign, please contact enquiries@smokefreehampshire.co.uk

For help and advice about stopping smoking see the reduce smoking page.