County council highlights dangers of smoking in homes and cars

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West Sussex County Council has backed a national campaign has been launched to raise awareness of the hidden dangers of smoking in homes and cars.

Smokefree Homes and Cars starts this June and runs for six weeks. It shows that more than 80 percent of second hand smoke is invisible and contains harmful toxins, meaning that children are inadvertently inhaling smoke without many people realising it.

Nationally more than 800 children visit their doctor every day due to the serious effects of second hand smoke exposure.

In West Sussex the overall cost for smoking to society in West Sussex per year is £183 million. This can be broken down to:

• £54.5 million lost in output to early deaths

• £39 million lost in output due to cigarette breaks

• £36 million cost to the NHS in West Sussex

• £33 million cost of productivity lost due to smoking related sick days

• £7 million cost of smoking related fires

• £10 million cost of passive smoking in West Sussex

Christine Field (Con, Lindfield & High Weald), WSCC cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “No matter how careful you think you are being when smoking, second hand smoke is unknowingly breathed in by children, which can lead to health problems.

“There’s support available for anyone who wants to find out more about giving up smoking, even if now isn’t the right time for you to do that. Accessing support like the West Sussex Stop Smoking Service makes you four times more likely to be successful than trying to stop smoking by yourself.”

Stopping smoking has long-term health benefits for all involved and their families, and can also save people a great deal of money.

For advice on accessing your local Stop Smoking Service in West Sussex call 0330 100 1823 or email sc-tr.wsxstopsmoking@nhs.net

To find out more visit the West Sussex Wellbeing website.