A Chemical Soup spreads through communities in Bury and encourages parents to Take 7 Steps Out
Tobacco Free Futures has teamed up with children’s charity Barnardo’s to bring a chemical soup into communities within Bury to encourage parents and guardians to Take 7 Steps Out of the house when smoking.
The Chemical Soup kit, complete with cooking pot and fake hazardous liquids, will show parents some of the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke – such as arsenic, formaldehyde and cadmium. Of more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, 60 are known to cause cancer as well as avoidable childhood illnesses.
Dr Peter Elton, Director of Public Health for NHS Bury said: “Smoking around children exposes them to a myriad of toxic chemicals. You can’t see many of the harmful ingredients in cigarettes when you are smoking, so standing by an open window or door is simply not enough to protect children from second hand smoke. If you are going to smoke, going right outside the house is the best thing you can do. It’s never too late to quit smoking and support is available on the NHS when the time is right.”
Tracey Shaw, who works for the Birth and Beyond programme for young mums, Bury Connexions said: "I was really shocked to find out that there are more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke and that it contains things like anti freeze and rat poison in it. I want to use what I’ve learnt to help young mums build their awareness of tobacco smoke so that they can protect their children.”
Deirdre Lewis, Children’s Services Manager for Barnardo’s in the North West said: “Using the Chemical Soup kit helps us equip parents with knowledge in our communities so they can make a positive step to protecting their children’s health. Everybody has had lots of fun today but they’ve also taken away some serious messages. We want them now to pass on these messages and get the community talking so that we can prevent many children from suffering unnecessarily.”
This community activity is the next stage of the successful Take 7 Steps Out campaign – which encourages smokers to smoke right outside, especially when children are in the house. It coincides with a North West TV advert campaign, following a successful first run last summer after which nearly one in five (19%) of the target audience said that they now go right outside to smoke to protect their children from secondhand smoke.
For more information about the campaign please visit: www.take7stepsout.co.uk
ENDS 8th November 2011
For more information please contact: Vicky Mills or Ansa Hussain, Communications Team, Tobacco Free Futures, tel: 0161 238 6380 / 0161 238 6385
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Notes to editor:
- Secondhand smoke results in at least 34,000 GP consultations a year in the NW and over 1,100 hospital admissions. (Based on Royal College of Physicians: Passive smoking and children. A report by the Tobacco Advisory Group. London: RCP, March 2010).
- Secondhand smoke makes children really poorly – chest infections, ear infections leading to operations - they end up going to the doctors or hospital often and miss days at school. Many cot deaths could also be prevented by keeping smoke right away from the home.
- Smoke from the end of a burning cigarette - ‘side stream’ smoke - is four times more toxic than mainstream smoke
- Many parents believe they are already taking action to protect their children, but may not realise that their actions don’t go far enough. They just may not be aware of some of the facts – the role of this campaign is to help them make informed choices.
- Secondhand smoke in enclosed spaces is extremely toxic for everyone. But children and young people whose lungs are still developing - and who mostly don’t have a choice about whether they breathe it - are the most vulnerable.
About Take 7 Steps Out
Evaluation of Take 7 Steps Out: Take 7 Steps Out first launched in August 2010. Evaluation of the first phase of the campaign reported that 19% of people who saw the campaign moved right outside to smoke, and 6% made a quit attempt, even though this was not specifically and quit smoking campaign.
New research by the University of Bath has reported that over the past year, since the Take 7 Steps Out campaign was launched last summer in the North West and North East:
Public awareness of the impact of secondhand smoke on the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome increased by 9% where the campaign was live, whilst it decreased 9% in the rest of England, (from 41% to 50% and from 41% to 40% respectively) and on the risk heart attack increased by 6% (from 54% to 60%) in the North West and North East whilst in the rest of England awareness declined by 7% (from 58% to 51%)
The proportion of smokefree homes also increased more where the campaign was live - from 48% to 52% in the North West and East and from 48% to 50% in the rest of England
About Tobacco Free Futures
Tobacco Free Futures is a region-wide collaborative partnership, supported by NW Primary Care Trusts. We aim to reduce smoking-related health inequalities across the North West, and are committed to breaking the cycle of children and young people’s exposure and addiction to tobacco, and achieving the vision of a tobacco free future for our children.
Barnardo’s works with more than 100,000 children, young people and their families in 415 specialised projects in communities across the UK. We believe in the potential in every child and young person, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through. We will support them, stand up for them and bring out the best in each and every child. Every year we help thousands of children turn their lives around. But we cannot do it without you. Visit www.barnardos.org.uk to find out how you can get involved and show you believe in children.