by Taryn Davies |
Smoking kills, we are well aware of it, yet we continue to do it.
But are you aware of the impact it's having on your children?
98 per cent of children wish their parents would stop smoking and 41 per cent said that cigarette smoke makes them feel ill.
What will it take for you to give up this nasty habit?
Health secretary Andrew Lansley says: "We all know smoking kills but not enough people realise the serious effect that secondhand smoke can have on the health of others, particularly children."
A new hard-hitting campaign is being launched to highlight the shocking truth behind second-hand smoke.
"This campaign will raise awareness of this danger and encourage people to take action to protect others from secondhand smoke.
"This is just one part of our wider strategy on tobacco. We need to do more. That is why next week we will end tobacco displays in large shops. We will also be consulting on plain packaging this spring," explains Andrew.
Millions of children in the UK are exposed to secondhand smoke that puts them at increased risk of lung disease, meningitis and cot death. It results in over 300,000 GP visits, 9,500 hospital visits in the UK each year and costs the NHS more than a staggering £23.6 million every year.
The only way to completely protect people from secondhand smoke is to make homes and cars entirely smokefree.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies says:"Secondhand smoke can cause a range of serious health problems for children and adults. Smoking damages our lungs, causes cancers and is now the biggest risk for cot death. Parents who smoke need to think about the effect it has on their family.
"Giving up smoking or making sure you have a completely smokefree home and car is the only way to protect your family.
"If people do want to quit there is excellent support and advice available. Get in touch with your local stop smoking service, GP or pharmacist or visit nhs.uk/smokefree"
The new TV and radio adverts will show that smoking by a window or the backdoor is not enough to protect children from secondhand smoke.
Over 80 per cent of secondhand smoke is invisible. It contains harmful cancer causing toxins an poisons that are unknowingly damaging children across the country everyday.
Consultant Paediatrician at the Royal Surrey Hospital Dr Charles Godden says: "I see children every week with conditions which are made worse by secondhand smoke. Most parents would be horrified to know that even a short car journey where an adult has been smoking would result in breakdown products of nicotine in their child’s urine.
"This shows exactly why we should all make our homes and cars smokefree and that children need protection from exposure to secondhand smoke."