Players from St Johnstone FC are supporting a campaign to protect children from exposure to second-hand smoke by encouraging smokers to ‘take it right outside’.
Members of the team took time out of their training schedule to highlight the dangers of second-hand smoke, alongside staff from the NHS Tayside Smoke Free Services team.
New research shows that the harmful chemicals in second-hand smoke linger and travel for up to five hours after the visible smoke has disappeared. NHS Tayside is supporting the Scottish Government’s ‘take it right outside’ campaign in a bid to reduce the number of children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home or car.
With 85% of second-hand smoke being invisible and odourless, many are unaware that smoking indoors, even at an open door or standing at the back door, isn’t enough to protect children as the harmful chemicals linger and easily drift around the home.
Effects of second-hand smoke can have serious consequences for a child’s health and it is estimated that second-hand smoke exposure in UK children each year causes over 20,000 cases of lower respiratory tract infection, 120,000 cases of middle ear disease, at least 22,000 new cases of wheeze and asthma, 200 cases of bacterial meningitis, and 40 sudden infant deaths.
Tracey Furness, NHS Tayside Smoke Free project worker, said, "There is evidence that breathing in other people's smoke can cause illness, and it is babies and children who are most at risk in this situation.
“By keeping the house smoke free, this not only protects children, but provides a healthier and cleaner home environment and eliminates potential fire hazards".
St Johnstone FC manager Tommy Wright said, “Research shows that smokers need to be even more careful with other people’s health, especially children. We are happy to lend our support to this campaign.”
The Smoke Free Services team will also be on hand to provide information on the risks of second-hand smoke at a roadshow in Asda on Dunkeld Road in Perth, on 7 May.
Smokers in Tayside can sign up to the Smoke Free Homes initiative, which asks smokers to acknowledge the effect their habit has on others and encourages them to make their home smoke free.
The Tayside Smoke Free Homes scheme encourages people to sign up to either a GOLD or SILVER promise to help keep their home smoke free. The GOLD promise means you agree to no smoking in the house, while signing up to the SILVER status promises that smoking will be confined to one room in the house and never in front of children.
For more information on Smoke Free Homes contact 07554333314.
Anyone who wants to stop smoking can call NHS Tayside Smoke Free Services on 0845 600 999 6 to find out about all the ways in which NHS Tayside can help support people to become smoke-free. You can also join our Facebook page atwww.facebook.com/nhstaysidesmokefree