Smoking out the killer weed

NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Smoke-Free Homes and Cars campaign is urging people to consider making a pledge to improve their health and the health of people around them.

The campaign encourages smokers, ex-smokers and non-smokers to make a pledge to go smoke free in their homes and car.

If this is not possible, those signing up to the campaign are asked to allocate just one room in their house for smoking.

The campaign hopes that by encouraging smokers to reduce the places they smoke in, they will then protect their loved ones from the known dangers of second-hand smoke.

In July this year, Kilwinning man, Alex Cornelius, took the Smoke-Free Homes and Cars pledge. Alex, 43, started smoking when he was 25 and has smoked between ten and 20 cigarettes a day for 18 years. Despite previous attempts to quit, Alex decided to pledge to make his kitchen the only place in his home where he could smoke.

Alex said: “I decided to make my kitchen the only place I could smoke in. That way I couldn’t just keep lighting up while watching the telly. I found that, over time, the amount of cigarettes I was smoking was getting less and less. I also made my car a smoke-free zone.”

Within just one month of making the smoke-free homes and cars pledge Alex managed to quit smoking. Alex added: “I found out about Smoke-Free Homes and Cars through my work at GE Caledonian. They had work-based smoking cessation advisors in one day who gave me some information. I then attended a smoking cessation group at Auchenharvie Leisure Centre in North Ayrshire. They gave me some great advice and tips and they also provided Nicotine Replacement Therapy once I had decided to quit smoking.

“I would definitely say that restricting smoking in my house and car helped me give up smoking.”

Alex has managed to stop smoking for three months now and has just won the smoke-free homes and cars prize draw of a £50 B&Q voucher.

Dr Carol Davidson, Executive Director for Public Health NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said: “We know that smoking is harmful, not only to the person choosing to smoke, but also to the people who are in the company of smokers.

“While our advice would always be for smokers to quit we recognise that it can be difficult.

“However, smokers can reduce the harmful effects of their smoking on other people by choosing not to smoke around them and by only smoking outside or in one room, away from non-smokers.”

If you would like more information on smoke-free homes and cars, telephone free on 0800 783 9132 or email Freshair-shire@aapct.scot.nhs.uk.