Hackney Council supports national campaign highlighting the true dangers of secondhand smoke

Every day children in Hackney are exposed to secondhand smoke, which puts them at increased risk of lung disease, meningitis and cot death, which is why Hackney Council is supporting a national campaign encouraging people to make their homes and cars smoke free.

Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council
Many smokers will be shocked to find out that opening a window or standing outside a door isn’t enough to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Ultimately, we want to help people to stop smoking, but would encourage you not to smoke in your homes or cars as a way of protecting your children, family and friends from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Culture, Hackney Council

More than 80 per cent of secondhand smoke is invisible and odourless, and contains harmful cancer-causing toxins and poisons. TV adverts show that smoking out of a car window or the backdoor is not enough to protect children from secondhand smoke.

One way to protect people from secondhand smoke is to make homes and cars entirely smokefree, a new survey2 highlights that despite the risks, many children are still exposed to secondhand smoke:

  • 68% of parents who smoke admit to doing so in the car with their children present
  • 75% of smoking parents were shocked to hear that secondhand smoke affects the health of so many children

Over eight hundred children across the country visit their doctor every day due to the serious effects of secondhand smoke exposure, according to research published by the Royal College of Physicians . The figures have been highlighted by Public Health England to increase awareness of the hidden dangers of smoking in homes and cars. Treatment, hospital and GP visits for secondhand smoke related illnesses cost the NHS more than £23.6 million each year.

Over the coming weeks Hackney Council staff will be visiting community events giving local people help and advice on quitting smoking. Events listed below.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “It’s well known that smoking kills, but many smokers still don’t realise the damage their smoke causes to those around them. Secondhand smoke can be an invisible killer and with more than 300,000 people seeing their GP each year because of it, we need to make sure people know how dangerous it can be. Our message is clear: giving up smoking is by far the best way to protect your family and we can help you quit to give you and your loved ones a healthier future.”

Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England said: “We hope these figures showing the number of children who need hospital treatment for the effects of second hand smoke and the information contained in the campaign will provide a wake-up call to many smokers out there. We must do more to protect the health of our children and making your home and car smokefree will reduce this unnecessary harm to children’s health.”

Dr Harpal Kumar, CEO of Cancer Research UK said: “The evidence is clear. Smoking around children is harmful, especially in homes and cars, so it’s vital they are protected from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Raising awareness of the dangers, providing information and supporting parents to make healthy choices are the first steps towards this. We hope this campaign helps bring attention to this and encourages parents and all adults to protect their families and make their homes and cars smokefree.”

Smokers can visit nhs.uk/smokefree to order a free Smokefree Kit. Facts, tips and tools are also available on the site to help them on the way to a smokefree future. Hackney residents can also all call free on 0800 169 1943 or email smokers-clinic@qmul.ac.uk or visit www.smokefreecityandhackney.nhs.uk

Events in Hackney

Thursday 13 June 2013
Workout at Work Day (Internal event)
12pm – 2pm
St Leonard’s Hospital Nuttall Street, Hackney, London, N1 5LZ

The aim of the event is to promote the active life style amongst the NHS staff.

Saturday, 15 June 2013
Anatolian Peoples Festival
11am - 7pm
Clissold Park, Stoke Newington Church Street, London, Hackney, N16 9HJ

Sunday 16 June 2013
Anatolian Peoples Festival
11am - 7pm
Clissold Park, Stoke Newington Church Street, London, Hackney, N16 9HJ

Saturday 22 June 2013
St John's Hoxton Summer Fair
10am - 4pm
St John’s Church, Pitfield St, London, N1 6NP

Saturday 6 July 2013
Woodberry Down Fun Day
11am – 4pm

Saturday 13 July 2013
Shoreditch Festival
12pm – 6pm
Hoxton Street, N1

Sunday 14July
Shoreditch Festival
12pm – 8pm
Hoxton Street, N1