Smokefree campaign highlights opportunity for smokers to kick the habit
Shropshire Council’s public health team is urging residents who smoke in their home or car to consider the consequence of secondhand smoke when inhaled by children.
The advice comes in light of Public Health England’s Smokefree Cars and Homes campaign launched on Thursday 12 February 2015 (click here) which highlights that 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible, and opening windows and doors will not remove its harmful effect.
Secondhand smoke is a real threat to child health which can cause cancer and increases the risk of:
- Lower respiratory infections (such as bronchitis and pneumonia)
- Middle ear infection
- Decreased lung function
- Sudden infant death syndrome.
The public health team also want to highlight the support available for those wishing to kick the habit, and that smokers can get help and advice from Shropshire’s local stop smoking service Help2Quit.
The callout also follows last week’s decision by the Government to end smoking in private vehicles whilst children are present. The regulations, which come into force on 1 October 2015, will make it an offence to smoke in a private vehicle with someone under 18 years old present, and for a driver to fail to prevent smoking in a private vehicle with someone under 18 years old present. People who fail to comply could be issued with a £50 fixed penalty notice.
Karen Calder, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for health, said:
“Secondhand smoke is a real and substantial threat to a child’s health. Although it is dangerous for anyone exposed to it, children are especially vulnerable, due to them having less developed airways and lungs and underdeveloped immune systems.
“As a previous smoker myself, I know how difficult that first step can be to becoming smokefree. With the new law coming into effect in October, this time could be a great opportunity for those who are wanting to kick the habit, to seek advice and help with their local stop smoking service. If you’re not ready yet, then please consider the health of your child and avoid smoking in the car when they’re present.”
If you or someone you know is trying to give up smoking, there is advice and help at hand. Help2Quit, the local NHS stop smoking service in Shropshire, offers free support delivered by stop smoking specialists – including practice nurses, midwives, pharmacists and school nurses – that really works. Help2Quit has been helping people to quit for the last 17 years and has seen around 85,000 clients in that time.
The service is available in almost all GP surgeries in Shropshire and is also provided in many pharmacies, community venues, hospitals and selected supermarkets.
For more information about quitting smoking in Shropshire call Help2Quit on 01743 453537 or visit www.healthyshropshire.co.uk.
If you would prefer to have an online chat with an expert Stop Smoking Adviser, click here. You can also keep in touch via Facebook and twitter @Help2QuitShrops.