PUBLIC health consultants in East Lancashire welcome a new, hard-hitting campaign highlighting the shocking truth behind second-hand smoke.
Karen Thompson, consultant in public health at NHS East Lancashire with special responsibility for children, is supporting new TV and radio adverts which show smoking by a window or back door is not enough to protect children from second-hand smoke.
She said: “We all know smoking kills and yet it is the single, most preventable cause of ill health and death. Smoke-free environments protect the health of non-smokers and smokers themselves.”
Millions of children in the UK are exposed to second-hand smoke that puts them at increased risk of lung disease, meningitis and cot death. It results in over 300,000 GP visits and 9,500 hospital visits in the UK each year. This is costing the NHS more than a staggering £23m. every year.
Karen continued: “Second-hand smoke is the smoke breathed in from other people’s cigarettes. It contains more than 4,500 chemicals, toxins and irritants, of which over 60 are known to cause cancer. Over 80% of second-hand smoke is invisible causing toxins and poisons that are unknowingly damaging children across the country every day. Measures to remove smoking from the home are not only protective, but also help to de-normalise smoking and are a positive influence on children’s decision to smoke or not in future.”
East Lancashire Primary Care Trust (NHS East Lancashire) commissions Smoke Free Homes, a scheme to raise awareness about the harmful effects second-hand smoke has in the home. The scheme is co-ordinated from the Maden Community and Children’s Centre, Bacup, and has been to be delivered to every household across East Lancashire.
For details on how to make a Smoke Free Homes pledge call the Maden Centre on 01706 871740.