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Secondhand smoke has huge impact on children’s health

Posted on the 13th May 2016

On National Children’s Day UK (15 May 2016), the Quit Squad is calling on smokers to understand the huge impact that secondhand smoke can have on children’s health and encourage households to make a Smoke Free Pledge.

The Quit Squad, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust’s Stop Smoking Service funded by Lancashire County Council, is calling on people who smoke or vape to realise that breathing in secondhand smoke can impact on the health of a child. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke, which increases a child’s risk of developing asthma, chest infections, glue ear and also sudden unexpected infant death.  The Quit Squad can support smokers to give up and also encourage everyone to protect their families by making a Smoke Free Pledge to ensure their cars and homes are smoke free. The home is now the main source of exposure to secondhand smoke for children.

Julie Trezise from the Quit Squad said: “It’s no secret that smoking is harmful, but many smokers don’t realise the damage that smoking does to those around them. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Many people simply don’t know of the dangers of secondhand smoke which contains over 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which are toxic. Those most at risk are children as their lungs are still developing. There’s often a misconception that opening a window or door stops smoke from harming others but this is not the case. Simply opening a window or door does not protect children and others.

“The best way to protect children is to give up smoking and make the Smoke Free Pledge. The Quit Squad is at hand to help with this and provide advice and support to people who want to take action to protect their children by either cutting down the amount that they smoke or even stopping for good. We’re reminding people that smoking at home or in the car is harmful to children and they can take action to prevent this even if they are not ready to quit. Simple steps such as moving well away from homes and buildings to smoke protect children from secondhand smoke.”

The Quit Squad offers informal sessions tailored for individuals with specially trained advisors who are friendly, approachable and non-judgmental. The Smoke Free Homes scheme is a Public Health initiative commissioned by Lancashire County Council to raise awareness about the harms associated with exposure to secondhand smoke.

To contact the Quit Squad, telephone (Freephone) 0800 328 6297 or 01254 283370/ 01772 644474, or visit www.quitsquad.nhs.uk. Also follow on Twitter using @LancashireCare #QuitSquad. For further information on Smoke Free Pledges telephone 01706 871740 or visit www.lancashiresmokefreehomes.co.uk.