Smoking in cars

Smoke around your children and they smoke too.

That is the warning as a campaign is launched in Gloucestershire to stop parents smoking in cars when their kids are in the back.

Even with the window open and fan on, smoking in cars exposes passengers to more smoke than smoking in the home and poses a particular danger to children because their lungs and immune system are still developing.

Passive smoking significantly increases a child's risk of conditions like asthma, respiratory infections and 'glue ear'. Children growing up with parents or carers who smoke are also 90% more likely to become smokers themselves.

Kirsty Johnston, Tobacco-Control Co-ordinator, NHS Gloucestershire said:

'In an enclosed space like a car, the smoke from a cigarette is more concentrated. Leaning out the car window to smoke won't make any difference, as the invisible chemicals and toxic gases in your cigarette are simply blown back into the car'.

'The simplest way to keep your children and other passengers safe and healthy is to make your car smokefree'.

To promote the smokefree message, NHS Gloucestershire has joined forces with the Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service to run a series of child safety events in Children's Centres across the county. NHS Gloucestershire will also be sending postcards to 50,000 households promoting the services available locally to help people quit.

Quitting smoking is the best way to protect your children from secondhand smoke, and Gloucestershire NHS Stop Smoking Service offers a range of free services to help smokers quit, including access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy like patches and gum.

To find out more about the services available locally, call the helpline on 08454 220040.