Campaign Urges Parents To Take Smoking Outside

Parents are being urged to take their smoking outside after figures revealed about one in ten children in Scotland are still exposed to second-hand smoke in the home.

The Take it Right Outside campaign is warning smokers that opening a window or only smoking in one room is not enough to protect children from harmful chemicals.

The Scottish Health Survey 2014 found that 11% of children were reported to be exposed to second-hand smoke at home, the same level as in 2013.

The Scottish Government wants to cut that proportion to 6% by 2020, with the potential to protect up to 50,000 children.

Public health minister Maureen Watt visited Keppoch Nursery in Possilpark, Glasgow, to launch the latest phase of the campaign.

The charity Stepping Stones for Families has been working with parents at the nursery to raise awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Parents who smoke have been offered Dylos air quality monitors to test the levels of harmful particles from cigarette smoke in their home.

The campaign will be visiting communities across Scotland over the next two months to provide advice to parents.

Lynda Bathgate, from Stepping Stones for Families, said: "Introducing the Dylos machines to help measure the harmful particles in the air caused by second-hand smoke has been a real eye-opener for a lot of parents and has helped open up discussions on the practical steps that can be taken to help ensure their home is smoke-free.''

Irene Johnstone, head of the British Lung Foundation Scotland, said: "Everybody knows that cigarette smoke is harmful. What we don't all know is that more than 85% of smoke is invisible and has no smell.

"Parents want to do the right thing to protect their children but not enough people know just how dangerous second-hand smoke is, or that it can hang around a room invisibly for up to five hours.''

Ms Watt said: "Children breathe faster than adults and therefore breathe in more of the harmful chemicals contained in second-hand smoke.

"This campaign is about making sure people are aware that smoking in one room, or at an open window or back door, isn't enough to protect them due to the fact that second-hand smoke lingers for up to five hours.

"The only way to ensure that a home is smoke-free is to never smoke indoors.''

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