Making your home smoke free
- Make sure you always go right out of the house to smoke (even if children aren’t at home).
- Since chemicals from smoke gets into fabric, a smoke free home/car should have no exceptions to the rule. This means never smoking in that area - not just when the children are present.
- Tell visitors or guests who visit your home that it is now smoke free and ask visitors not to smoke in your home.
Top tips for a smoke free home
- Once you’ve decided to have a smoke free home/car, give them both a really thorough clean and dust. Chemicals from cigarettes gather in house dust. If you’ve cleaned and washed upholstery, it makes you less likely to want to make it dirty again by smoking indoors.
- Have an old coat, shoes and an umbrella in a porch or external area ready to go outside for a cigarette. The easier it is, the more likely you are to do it.
- Put an ashtray outside in your smoking area so that you don’t have to dispose of cigarette butts on the ground where they can be picked up by young children.
- Where possible and safe, close the door behind you to prevent smoke travelling back inside.
- Chemicals from smoke remain on your breath for about 20 minutes after a cigarette. When you come inside, wash your hands and don’t kiss babies/children for this time.
- Opening a window in the car is not sufficient as it simply pushes the smoke to the back of the car and disposing of cigarettes through a window can lead to them being blown back in an open rear window, leading to burns.
- Keep cigarettes, lighters and electronic cigarettes out of reach and sight of children.
Using an e-cigarette?
We don’t really know how safe e-cigarettes are as they are still fairly new and currently not regulated. You may wish to consider:
- Avoiding 'vaping' around your children as we do not know exactly what is contained in the vapour which they give off.
- Discouraging younger family members from using e-cigarettes as nicotine is highly addictive.
- Keeping your e-cigarette and e-liquids away from children and pets as the nicotine they contain can be poisonous if swallowed.
- Being careful when charging an e-cigarette as using an incorrect charger can be a fire risk. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service recommend only using the charger that comes with your e-cigarette. The devices should also never be left unattended while charging because they can overheat.
If you are unsure about using e-cigarettes, visit NHS Choices for more information. If you are currently using an e-cigarette contact Quit4life or your local NHS stop smoking service for information and free support to help you quit smoking. Links at bottom of this page.
Why is cigarette smoke so bad for children?
Children have very little control over breathing in cigarette smoke so it is up to adults to protect them. Babies and young children's lungs and immune systems are not fully developed.
Over 80% of cigarette smoke is invisible.
- Children are more likely to get coughs and colds and ear infections.
- The chance of your child getting asthma doubles.
- Babies are more at risk of cot death.
- Children are more at risk of meningitis.
- Tobacco smoke contains 4,000 chemicals of which over 50 are known to cause cancer.
The benefits begin the minute your home becomes smoke free!
- A smoke free home is a healthier home for you and your children.
- Your health will improve if you smoke less cigarettes.
- Your children won’t see you smoking and are less likely to copy you.
- A smoke free home is a fresher, brighter home that doesn't need decorating so often.
- A smoke free home is a safer home - more fires in the home are caused by cigarettes than any other single cause.
- A smoke free car is more pleasant and does not smell of stale smoke.
- Your pets’ health will also benefit!
What if I can’t go outside?
Quit smoking medication might help cope with the craving for a cigarette - contact your local stop smoking service for advice
What are some of the toxic chemicals found in secondhand smoke?
- Tar is known to cause both cancer and lung damage.
- Carbon monoxide is a gas found in car exhaust fumes.
- Benzene is found in petrol fumes and causes leukaemia.
- Ethanol is used in anti-freeze.
- Ammonia is used in cleaning products.
- Formaldehyde is an embalming fluid.
- Hydrogen cyanide is an industrial pollutant.
- Arsenic is effectively rat poison.
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) is found in diesel exhaust.
I want to stop smoking: where can I get help?
Quit4Life, your local NHS Stop Smoking Service for Hampshire, offers free, friendly help and professional support. Call them or visit their website to find out what support is available, including free nicotine replacement patches, gum, inhalator and lozenge.
Phone: 0845 602 4663
Text: QUIT to 60123
Visit the Quit4Life website
If you live in Southampton, your local NHS Stop Smoking Service is Southampton Quitters. They offer the same services and friendly advice to support you all the way. Contact Southampton Quitters on 02380 515221.
If you live in Portsmouth, visit Healthy Pompey for more information on stopping smoking.