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Living room to travel across Greater Glasgow & Clyde highlighting the dangers of second hand smoke

Friday, October 14, 2016

Smokefree Services teams will be setting up living rooms in hospitals and shopping malls to highlight the dangers of second hand smoke. 

The series of roadshows will demonstrate the effect second hand smoke has on babies and children as second hand smoke lingers for up to five hours after tobacco has been smoked indoors. 

In Scotland, 6% of children under 12 are still exposed to smoke at home. However, local research shows the prevalence is significantly higher with children living in more deprived areas where they are generally more heavily exposed to second hand smoke. 

Smokefree Services staff at each venue will demonstrate that smoking in one room, even with the door closed and a window open, does not protect babies and children from the harmful effects of second hand smoke. 

The NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde roadshows will be setting up at: 

  • The Playdrome Clydebank, Monday 17 October, 10-4pm
  • Barrhead Foundry, Wednesday 19 October, 10-4pm
  • The Oak Mall Centre, Friday 21 October, 10-3pm
  • Tesco Silverburn, Wednesday 26 October, 9-3pm
  • Possilpoint Community Centre, Monday 31 October, 10-5pm 

There are more than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke with at least 69 known to cause cancer and many others known to be poisonous. 

These chemicals are also contained in second hand smoke, which is made up of mainstream smoke, the smoke breathed in and out by the smoker; and side stream smoke which is the smoke from the tip of a burning cigarette and is the most harmful.

Many toxic gases are present in higher concentrations in side stream smoke and nearly 85% of the smoke in a room results from side stream smoke. This smoke is invisible and the poisonous substances can linger for up to five hours after tobacco has been smoked inside. 

Dr Linda de Caestecker, director of Public Health at NHSGGC, said: “Ten years on from the introduction of the smoking ban in public places attention is increasingly focusing on the damage caused to children and young people by second hand smoke. 

“We want every child across Greater Glasgow and Clyde to have the best start in life and growing up in a smokefree environment is an important part of that.

“By taking the living room set around the board area we’re showing people the real damage that second hand smoking causes to children in a setting they can understand. We have successful smoking cessation groups and plenty of advertising campaigns, but this lets people see the effects in a home’s main room. 

“Since the introduction of the smoking ban we’ve seen an 18% year on year fall in the number of children admitted to hospital for asthma in direct contrast to the 5% year on year rise before the ban came into place. 

“In the last five years more than 150,000 people have used Smokefree Services in a bid to kick their smoking habit. However, despite this success, and that of the ban on smoking in public buildings, homes and cars remain significant sources of exposure to second hand smoke, particularly for children.” 

Tobacco use accounts for almost one in four of all deaths in Scotland, is responsible for around 33,500 hospital admissions annually and costs the NHS around £400 million to treat smoking-related illness each year. 

Smoking is linked to many illnesses and long-term conditions, substantially increasing the chances of developing lung conditions, heart disease, strokes and cancers. 

Babies and children are particularly susceptible to second hand smoke and are more likely to suffer asthma and asthma, glue ear, accentuated risk of cot death, impaired lung function, bacterial meningitis and respiratory illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia. 

The only way to fully protect a baby or child is to smoke outside and away from a door. For children’s sake, never smoke indoors. Find ways to keep your home smokefree at www.rightoutside.org.

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