As families across Lancashire get together to celebrate Eid following a month of fasting over Ramadan, people who smoke are being encouraged to understand that young children are at particular risk of serious illnesses due to second hand smoke.
Second hand smoke is dangerous for anyone exposed to it, but children are especially vulnerable as they have less well-developed airways, lungs and immune systems. As a result, the Quit Squad, which is funded by Lancashire County Council, is encouraging households this Eid—a day of celebration held on the first day after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan—to make a Smoke Free Pledge.
Tracy Sutton from the Quit Squad said, “The Quit Squad would like to convey a Happy Eid, or Eid Kareem, to everyone celebrating the day. Eid is a day of celebration held to mark a month of abstinence. It’s an emotional time when families celebrate and get together. As a result, it’s important for parents and grandparents who smoke and vape to realise the harms that second hand smoke does to children. Over 80 percent of second hand smoke is invisible and odourless; every time a child breathes in second hand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals which put them at risk of serious health conditions, including meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia. Babies exposed to second-hand smoke are also at risk of cot death.
“Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s harmless. Adults are also at risk. People who breathe in second hand smoke are at risk of the same diseases as smokers, including cancer and heart disease. The best way to protect children is to give up smoking and make the Smoke Free Pledge. The Quit Squad also provides support to shisha smokers who are at risk of developing the same health problems as cigarette smokers including cancer and other respiratory diseases. It can also increase the risk of mouth cancer. Studies have also shown that even without including tobacco the betel leaf itself can pose the same health risks as other types of smoking.”
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 second hand smoke for children. 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 second hand smoke
In addition to drop-in clinics (for which no appointments are required) and one-to-one sessions, the Quit Squad also offers group sessions in the community and operates in Central, North, East and West Lancashire. For further details, telephone 0800 3286297, visit www.quitsquad.nhs.uk, or follow the Quit Squad on Twitter @LancashireCare #QuitSquad. For further information on Smoke Free Pledges telephone 01706 871740 or visit www.lancashiresmokefreehomes.co.uk.