Updated: Monday, 10th December 2018 @ 4:16pm

Campaign to highlight second-hand smoke dangers launched in Wigan after shocking children's illness stats

Campaign to highlight second-hand smoke dangers launched in Wigan after shocking children's illness stats

By Colin Henrys

The dangers second-hand smoke can bring to children is being highlighted by a borough-wide smoke-free homes and cars campaign in Wigan.

Backed by Wigan Council, the campaign has launched after stats revealed more than 800 incidents in the borough of children’s illnesses related to second-hand smoke last year alone.

Labelled Take Seven Steps Out, the campaign – which backs national TV and radio adverts – wants to show even smoking by an open door  or window is harmful.

Councillor Keith Cunliffe, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for health and adult services, said: “We want to reduce the number of children who are admitted to hospital every year in Wigan Borough through the effects of second-hand smoke.

“Second-hand smoke causes a range of serious health problems for children as well as adults.

“Children’s lungs are smaller and less developed so they are more vulnerable to the effects of secondhand smoke.

“It is vital that we do everything we can to improve awareness and reduce the risks. Opening a window won’t protect your health, but smoke free cars and homes will.”

The campaign’s main aim is to highlight how despite 80% of second-hand smoke is invisible and odourless, it still contains carcinogens and poisons which are unknowingly damaging children.

Of the 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, 60 cause cancer but Dr Kate Arden, the council’s director of public health, insists the campaign is not just about quitting.

“We are hoping to remind people that any smoking around children is harmful to them,” she said.

“They must take action to prevent it – even if they are not ready to quit themselves.”

Local people who would like to kick the habit can contact the Ashton, Leigh and Wigan stop smoking service however for advice and more information about the campaign.

For support in quitting smoking, contact the service on 01942 482539 or for more information on this campaign call freephone 0500 7867 669.

You can also visit www.nhs.co.uk/smokefree to order a free smoke-free kit.

Picture courtesy of Julie Bocchino, via Flickr Creative Commons, with thanks.

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