drinking and smokingHeart Research UK has issued a new guide featuring handy hints to avoid second-hand smoke ahead of this year’s National No Smoking Day, which takes place on Wednesday 9 March.

Currently, 1 in 5 adults in the UK smokes, despite increased awareness regarding the health implications of doing so. Additionally, about 80,000 people die from smoking-related diseases each year in England, including raised blood pressure and heart disease. 

But, through second-hand smoke, smoking habits can also harm friends and family members. Children who live in smoky homes are more likely to suffer from respiratory problems including asthma, tonsillitis and glue ear, meaning trips to the doctors and time off school. If their parents smoke they’re also three times more likely to start smoking themselves, with an estimated 23,000 children in England and Wales starting smoking at 15 due to exposure to smoking within their household.

Heart Research UK is challenging all households to help their loved one’s hearts and create a smoke free home this National No Smoking Day. To support this, the charity has issued some advice and guidelines to support a smoke free home:

Opening the window isn’t enough

Most of the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke are invisible and what we can see is only a fraction of what’s there. Simply opening a window or the door won’t allow all the smoke to escape, in fact it will help to circulate the smoke in the air around your house. Remember, when you smoke indoors your children are smoking too.

Take smoking right outside

Make your home smoke free this National No Smoking Day. Not only will your home benefit from a breath of fresh air, your children’s health will benefit too. If you’re not ready to quit smoking altogether leave a coat and pair of shoes by the door and a cigarette disposal seven steps outside the door making sure you’re well away before lighting up. For more helpful tips visit: http://www.take7stepsout.co.uk  

Minimise temptation and break the routine

Remove all smoking materials from your home, office and car and identify the times or situations that are more likely to trigger cravings so you can plan ahead and be armed and ready.  If you would normally light up after your evening meal, do something different to keep your mind off your craving and help to kick the habit.

Seek support

Tell family and friends that you want to quit and their support will help to make your journey much easier. For extra help visit your GP who can prescribe nicotine replacement therapies and help you to quit through the NHS stop smoking scheme with one-to-one and group support available. Heart Research UK’s smoking leaflet also has some more tips to start you on your way: http://heartresearch.org.uk/heart/lifestyle-leaflets 

You can follow the latest news related to national No Smoking Day on Twitter at #nosmokingday