Laura Sharman 29 September 2015

Councils urge residents to kick smoking habit

Councils across the country are urging smokers to give up cigarettes ahead of new legislation that bans smoking in cars carrying children.

The new law, which comes into effect 1 October, means that all vehicles containing a person under the age of 18 must be smoke-free or the driver and smoker will face a £50 fine.

As part of Stopober, local authorities are offering residents free support to kick the habit such as daily text support, local stop smoking services and online support.

Blackpool Council has teamed up with a local ex-smoker to highlight the dangers of secondhand smoke. Cllr Eddie Collett, cabinet member for reducing health inequalities, said: ‘Smoky cars, packed full of toxic tobacco chemicals, are especially deadly to children because they have smaller lungs, faster breathing and less developed immune systems. Children suffering the effects of secondhand smoke are admitted to Lancashire hospitals every year with complications such as bronchitis, asthma and reduced lung function.

‘We have campaigned for smokefree cars for a long time, and we hope the change in the law along with the extra information and support available will lead to healthier choices by people across Lancashire to keep their cars smokefree.’

Leeds City Council is also backing the annual campaign, saying that two-thirds of the people who got involved in previous years managed to quit for 28 days.

However, Paul Lambert from Leeds City Council’s public health team, warned: We’re down to record rates of smoking in Leeds, but we still have a long way to go. Smoking rates are just under a quarter for adults, and it is worse in some parts of the city. I know quitting is tough, but I also know people who quit do feel better in time.

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