Smoking parents in Warwickshire warned of dangers

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Almost 3,000 Warwickshire children visited their doctor in

the last year suffering from the serious effects of

breathing in second-hand smoke.

The figures have been highlighted as the Government

launches a campaign to increase awareness of the hidden

dangers of smoking in homes and cars.

According to research by the Royal College of Physicians,

more than 80 per cent of second-hand smoke is invisible,

odourless and contains harmful cancer-causing toxins and

poisons.

TV adverts will show that smoking out of a car window or

the back door is not enough to protect children from

second-hand smoke.

Chair of Smokefree Warwickshire Partnership, Cllr Angela

Warner, said: “It’s well known that smoking kills, but many

smokers still don’t realise the damage their smoke causes

to those around them.

“In babies and young children, exposure to second-hand

smoke increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome

(SIDS), acute respiratory infections, ear infections,

meningitis and asthma.

“Our message is clear: protect your children by only

smoking outside of the home and car. Giving up smoking is

by far the best way to protect your family and we can help

you quit to give you and your loved ones a healthier

future.”

A recent survey of nearly 700 parents conducted this month

revealed that:

· 68% of parents who smoke admit to doing so in the car

with their children present

· 75% of smoking parents were shocked to hear that

secondhand smoke affects the health of so many children

Research on smoking with children in cars, undertaken by

the Warwickshire based Tobacco Control Collaborating

Centre, concluded that smoking in cars produces

concentrations of particulates that could be classified as

unhealthy, even when windows are open or the ventilation

system is on.

Dr John Linnane, Warwickshire County Council Director of

Public Health, said: “The evidence is clear. Smoking around

children is harmful, especially in homes and cars, so it’s

vital they are protected from the dangers of second-hand

smoke.”

In Warwickshire there is a free Stop Smoking Service for

people wishing to quit.

For help and advice on stopping smoking call 0800 0852917,

text LIFE to 80800 or visit www.smokefreewarwickshire.org