The home is now the main source of exposure to secondhand smoke for children. Find out why making your home smokefree is the best way to keep your family safe from passive smoking.
What is secondhand smoke?
This is a combination of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar and the smoke exhaled by smokers. When someone breathes in this smoke it is called passive smoking.
Impact on children
Children are more vulnerable to the dangers of second-hand smoke. They have small airways and breathe faster meaning their lungs take in more of 4,000 dangerous chemicals found in secondhand smoke, putting them at risk of:
Harm reduction measures don’t go far enough, here’s why:
Smoking with a window open or at the back – 80% of smoke is invisible and impossible to control so smoke still drifts in.
Smoking while no-one is around – smoke lingers for up to 3 hours and sticks to furniture, carpets and walls long after smoking has stopped.
Smoking in another room – smoke particles are smaller than dust, which means they can travel from room to room, even with the doors closed.
Smoking outside – smoke stays on you breath. It also sticks to clothes and hairs, meaning you carry the smoke inside with you.
Making your home smokefree is the only way to protect you and your loved ones from the harms of second-hand smoke.
How you can make your home smokefree
Remove lighters and ashtrays – this may help to reduce cravings by getting rid of items that may trigger them. It will also make it harder to light up without easy access to them.
Try nicotine spray, gum, patches, lozenges or switch to e-cigarettes – you’re four times more likely to successfully quit smoking with the use of stop smoking medicines compared to going cold turkey.
Let visitors know in advance – smoke can be carried on people’s clothes, so visitors who smoke may be bringing third-hand smoke into your home. Letting people know will help to avoid this.
Change clothes after cigarettes – if you smoke outdoors, change your clothes as soon as you go indoors.
Tell friends and family you’re going smokefree and ask for their support – Set a date for your smokefree home and tell your family and friends.
Ask you children to draw you a picture to remind you why you’re staying smokefree – download our commitment card, which includes a space for children to draw their smokefree home, and pin it up somewhere visible like the fridge to motivate you to stay smokefree.
A smokefree home is better for everyone.
By not smoking you will:
Set a good example to your children – Children exposed to smoking are significantly more likely to take up smoking themselves. Lower the chances that your children will become smokers.
Reduce health risks to you, your family, friends and pets
Lower your risk of house fires – Tobacco is designed to remain alight and cigarettes burn at 700°c. Incorrect disposal of cigarettes is the biggest cause of fatal house fires in the UK.
Save money – Smoking is expensive. On average, most people who quit save around £250 each month.
Get support to quit with support of local stop smoking services. Smokefree Sheffield’s partners are on hand to help you quit for good.