Torbay Council’s Public Health Team is supporting a survey which reveals widespread support for new law in the South West.

The organisation which led on the UK’s first major public smokefree outdoor area earlier this year in Bristol has welcomed new legislation that will protect children from health problems such as asthma and glue ear.

Executive Lead for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Derek Mills, said: “The law against smoking in private vehicles when children are present will come into force on Thursday 1 October 2015. Anyone lighting up in a car with a child under 18 present will be breaking the law and could be fined.”

85% of adults in the South West support the ban on smoking in cars carrying children, according to the ASH Smokefree GB Survey conducted by YouGov, whilst 60% of South West adults agreed that smoking should be banned in all cars.

Kate Knight, deputy director at Smokefree South West, which also led on smokefree children’s play areas in the South West and the region’s first campaign to take smoking outside the home, said: “We welcome this new legislation and the impact it will have on the health of people living in the South West.

“It is really important we give children legal protection from smoking in cars. Secondhand smoke is dangerous for anyone exposed to it but breathing in smoke is not a child’s choice and their developing lungs are especially vulnerable to smoke.

“Too many children in the South West are exposed to smoke, leading to short term health problems like asthma, glue ear, headaches, coughs and nausea.

“Even opening a window does not protect from the poisons in tobacco smoke, which can linger a long time after you can see it or smell it, for up to two and a half hours even with a window open.

“Although the new law prohibits smoking in cars with children present, we urge all smokers to protect themselves and their families and use Stoptober as an opportunity to take the first step to becoming completely smokefree.

“There is a raft of support out there to help you quit smoking from online tools to your local stop smoking service. With their help you could be well on the way to quitting smoking in a month’s time. Not only will your family benefit from this but you will be doing the best possible thing to improve your health.”

Stoptober is now the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind with over 19,000 smokers signing up last year across the South West, and over 227,000 nationally1.

With over 750,000 smokers2 in the South West, it is hoped many more will take up the opportunity this year to join Stoptober and go smokefree this October.

Research shows that if you can stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stay quit. Therefore local councils and public health organisations across the South West are supporting the Stoptober campaign.

With local Stop Smoking Services holding extra clinics and events across the South West there has never been a better time to quit. Search “smokefree” online to find your local stop smoking service.

Alternatively, you could take advantage of local expert support and call the Torbay Stop Smoking Service. As well as access to the latest stop smoking products & medications, as part of the Stoptober challenge they have additional clinics and could even come to see you where you work. For more information or to book an appointment please call 0300 456 1006 or e-mail stopsmoking.torbay@nhs.net

- ENDS –

Notes to editors
Interview opportunities available on request

For interview requests please contact Eleanor Taylor on 0117 906 9058 or 0117 906 9060 or email: eleanor.taylor@publichealthaction.org.uk

For more information on the legislation visit:
http://www.cieh.org/policy/smokefree_workplaces.html
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/new-rules-about-tobacco-e-cigarettes-and-smoking-1-october-2015/new-rules-about-tobacco-e-cigarettes-and-smoking-1-october-2015

Smokefree South West
Smokefree South West is a programme commissioned on behalf of 11 Local Authority areas in the South West. The programme was set up to tackle tobacco use across the region.

The organisation has led on a number of high profile projects including smokefree Millennium Square in Bristol, the first outdoor open space in the UK to have a voluntary smoking code, and a number of social marketing campaigns to change the behaviour of smokers and raise awareness of tobacco control issues.

YouGov
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 10017 adults in England. The sample size for the South West was 1111. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26 February to 12 March 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Stoptober
1 Stoptober signups 2014 provided by Public Health England.
2 The number of smokers is based on mid-2014 population estimates (ONS) and 2013 smoking prevalence estimates (IHS). Please refer to the Local Tobacco Control Profiles: http://www.tobaccoprofiles.info/profile/tobacco-control/data

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