Scotland: Campaign to Encourage People not to Smoke Near Kids


Individuals smoking near kids are main target of public health campaign to create a tobacco-free generation.  Scottish Government says that it was estimated that in the UK secondhand smoke causes annually more than 20,000 cases of respiratory infection in kids.

According to Michael Matheson, the public health minister, every child has the right for a smoke-free environment.  The campaign is aimed to convince smokers not to smoke near children as it harms them. The campaign is not about quitting.

Smokers think that they are already doing enough, but they do not understand that the invisible harmful substances from secondhand smoke remain on surfaces for a long period of time.

Immune system in children isn’t fully developed. Children do breathe quicker than adults, that is why smoking in the home or car puts children at risk.

Matheson told that still their major aim remains preventing people from starting smoking and helping smokers quit. In order to achive this goal many measures were implemented such as smoking ban in public places, display ban and numerous smoking cessation programs. The present campaign is going to inform smokers about effects of tobacco smoke on people near them.

It is expected that 50,000 kids will be prevented from secondhand smoke exposure. It means reducing the number of exposed kids from 12% to 6% by 2020. Thus Scotland will be the first country in the UK to set such a target.

During the campaign smokers will find out how smoking indoors pollutes the air.  Dr Sean Semple, of the University of Aberdeen, told that in past 5 years they measured pollution levels in over 100 homes in Scotland. They found out that smoking homes have very high concentrations of particles from tobacco smoke. Smokers should know that tobacco smoke remains for a long time on different surfaces. It may take more than 5 hours for smoke to clear and during this time the harmful substanses will move around the entire house.

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