Smokers urged to ‘take it outside’ to spare children’s health

Smoking cessation staff Kelly Cruickshanks an Lisa McLaughlin.

Smoking cessation staff Kelly Cruickshanks an Lisa McLaughlin.

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Smokers in Angus are being urged to ‘take it right outside’ to protect their children from second-hand smoke

Staff from the NHS Tayside Smoke Free Services team were out and about last week to highlight the dangers of second-hand smoke.

New research has shown that the harmful chemicals in second-hand smoke can linger and travel for up to five hours after the visible smoke has disappeared.

NHS Tayside is supporting the Scottish Government’s current ‘take it right outside’ campaign in a bid to reduce the number of children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home or car.

With 85 per cent of second-hand smoke being invisible and odourless, many are unaware that smoking indoors, even at an open door or standing at the back door, isn’t enough to protect children as the harmful chemicals linger and easily drift around the home.

The health authority is warning that the effects of second-hand smoke can have serious consequences for a child’s health.

It is estimated that exposure in UK children each year causes more than 20,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infection, 120,000 cases of middle ear disease, at least 22,000 new cases of wheeze and asthma, 200 cases of bacterial meningitis and 40 sudden infant deaths.

Kelly Cruickshanks, NHS Tayside smoking cessation co-ordinator, said: “Second-hand smoke causes the same diseases in non-smokers as smokers and the only safe way to protect babies and children from tobacco smoke is not to smoke in the home at all.”

Smokers in Tayside can sign up to the Smoke Free Homes initiative, which asks smokers to acknowledge the effect their habit has on others and encourages them to make their home smoke-free.

Further information on Smoke Free Homes can be obtained by telephoning 07554 333314.