Protect your family from secondhand smoke
More than 80% of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless, so no matter how careful you think you're being, your family still breathes in harmful poisons, putting them at risk of meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia.
That’s why the law has changed. It is illegal to smoke in vehicles with someone under 18 present; driver and passenger could be fined £50.
With our help and support you can quit smoking for good.
Whenever you light up, secondhand smoke is produced. This is the smoke exhaled by you, plus the smoke created by the lit end of a cigarette. This isn't just unpleasant, it can be a killer.
Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, many of which are irritants and toxins, including:
- Arsenic, which can be found in rat poison
- Benzene, which is found in petrol fumes and can cause leukemia
- And cyanide, which is poisonous and an industrial pollutant
The smoke also contains other chemicals, many of which are irritants or toxins and more than 50 are known carcinogens. They're the ones that can cause cancer.
Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s harmless. People who breathe in secondhand smoke are at risk of the same diseases as smokers, including cancer and heart disease.
Secondhand smoke is dangerous for anyone exposed to it, but children are especially vulnerable as they have less well-developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Up to 5 million children across the UK are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke in the home.
Every time a child breathes in secondhand smoke, they breathe in thousands of chemicals, which puts them at risk of serious health conditions, including meningitis and cancer, and respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke because they breathe more rapidly and have less developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Babies exposed to second-hand smoke are more at risk of cot death.
Breathing second-hand smoke increases a child's or an adult's risk of lung cancer by 24% and heart disease by 25%.
Children breathing in other people's cigarette smoke results in 300,000 GP visits and 9,500 hospital admissions for children every year.
Opening windows and doors or smoking in another room in the house will not make it safe for those around you. Harmful cigarette smoke can still blow back inside. And because more than 80% of smoke is invisible, you can't see where it goes making it impossible to control.
Find out why quitting is the best thing you can do for your baby.
It's not just about the physical effects smoking has on your family
Nearly three quarters of children worry that their mum or dad will die because they smoke. Not only that, but if you smoke, your children are three times more likely to smoke when they grow up. By quitting, your children will be less likely to take up smoking.
- Children exposed to a smoky atmosphere are more likely to suffer from breathing problems, allergies and chest infections. By not smoking, you protect the health of those close to you.