With September designated as Smoke Free Homes Month for the tenth year, the Quit Squad and Smoke Free Homes–both schemes funded and supported by Lancashire County Council–have launched a Lancashire-wide campaign to raise awareness about the harms of exposure to second hand smoke.
Second hand smoke can have a huge impact on children’s health and the Smoke Free Homes scheme is encouraging parents and carers to protect their families by making a pledge to make their homes and cars smoke free. The home is the main source of exposure to second hand smoke for children, which increases a child’s risk of developing asthma, chest infections, glue ear and also sudden unexpected infant death.
To coincide with the month, Smoke Free Homes has developed an e-pack to raise awareness of the dangers of second hand smoke and the health benefits of living in a smoke free environment. The e-pack is being distributed to all partners across the county, including Children's Centres, Housing Teams, Midwifery and Health Visiting colleagues, borough councils and contacts from the voluntary, community and faith sector to ensure a wide coverage.
Sue Hopkinson, Smoke Free Homes Coordinator, said: “Smoke Free Homes month aims to encourage our partner organisation to further also raise awareness about the harms of exposure to second hand smoke, particularly for children. We welcome organisations to make displays in their places of work, promote the opportunity to make smoke free pledges online via our website and also avail of the training opportunities that we offer to help us permeate these messages as wide as possible.
“The best way to protect children is to give up smoking and make the Smoke Free Pledge which can be done by completing one of our Smoke Free Homes pledge leaflets or making a pledge online. The Quit Squad is also at hand to help with this and provides 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 second hand smoke.”
Many smokers do not realise the damage that smoking does to those around them and the dangers of second hand smoke which contains over 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which are toxic. Those most at risk are children as their lungs are still developing.
Smoke Free Homes work in partnership with The Quit Squad as part of the county-wide approach which is funded by Lancashire County Council. The Quit Squad compliments the Smoke Free Homes agenda supporting smokers to quit. The service offers informal sessions tailored for individuals with specially trained advisors who are friendly, approachable and non-judgmental.
To contact the Quit Squad, telephone (freephone) 0800 328 6297 or 01254 283370/ 01772 644474, or visit www.quitsquad.nhs.uk. Also follow the Quit Squad on Twitter using @LancashireCare #QuitSquad.
For further information on Smoke Free Pledges telephone 01706 871740 or visit www.lancashiresmokefreehomes.co.uk. Also follow Smoke Free Homes on Twitter using