Most of us know that secondhand smoke can be harmful, but research shows we don?t really know how much. We think smoking near a cracked car window or waving the smoke away can make all the difference. In fact, more than 80% of secondhand smoke, whether exhaled or curling from the end of the cigarette, is invisible. No matter how careful smokers are, children and loved ones still breathe in the harmful poisons.
Going Smokefree ? help and advice
BritMums, working in conjunction with the Department of Health, is promoting the Smokefree Homes and Cars campaign. There?s a wide range of proven support available to help smokers quit via the NHS Smokefree website, including a Quit Kit, a Smokefree app, text message support and local face-to-face support.
What bloggers had to say
We asked bloggers to share their personal stories about smoking. Here?s what they had to say:
Starting a family = giving up smoking
Lilinha shares her story about how her husband decided to give up smoking when they decided to start trying for a family.
Helen explained how she found some of the adverts quite difficult to watch as a non-smoker.
Kate, a former smoker who found it hard to give up when watching East Enders, worries about the impact on invisible smoke on children, particularly as she has a young child with asthma.
Supporting a quitter
Caroline explained how difficult it can be for long-term smokers to stop and why encouragement at this time is so vital.
Jaime shares her story of giving up and although how she has the occasional cigarette on nights out, she hopes she will soon be smokefree.
Aby remembered how her father smoked a pipe and died when she was a child after a battle with cancer. She recalls how very ill men would still continue to smoke, perhaps highlighting just why so much support is needed if we want people to quit.
How smoking impacts the family
Secondhand smoke is harmful to anyone exposed to it, but young children are especially vulnerable due to having less developed airways, lungs and immune systems combined with the fact that they breathe more rapidly than adults
Kara shared memories of how her parents smoked and the impact on her health.
Andrea lost her mum to cancer and explains how her partner giving up means he can be a positive role model to their child.
Kate also lost her mum to cancer and shares how she encourages family members to quit. Poignantly, she wonders if her mum might still be around if such support was available in the past.
Mari started smoking at 15 years of age and had a shock, which made her give up 12 years ago. ?Still today I am immensely proud of quitting smoking and I do not miss it one tiny bit.?
More information & help
For people wishing to quit smoking there is a wide range of free support and resources available by searching ?Smokefree? online.
Every time a child breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals that can cause cancer and increase the risk of:
- Lower respiratory infections (such as bronchitis and pneumonia) (up to 60% more likely)
- Middle ear infection (up to 45% more likely)
- Meningitis (more than twice as likely)
- Decreased lung function (modestly more likely)
- Sudden infant death syndrome (cot death more than three times as likely)
Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, more than 50 of which cause cancer
According to the Royal College of Physicians, exposure of children to secondhand smoke is responsible for over 300,000 general practice consultations and 9,500 hospital admissions in the UK each year.
Start your smokefree life today by visiting the Smokefree site today!
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