Second-hand smoke target reached five years early

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The Scottish Government announced yesterday that their Take it Right Outside campaign has reduced the percentage of children who are exposed to second-hand smoke to 6%.

Figures in the Scottish Health Survey, published on Tuesday, show that children exposed to smoke in the home has reduced from 11% in 2014 to 6% in 2015. This is a major success for the Take it Right Outside campaign, launched by the Scottish Government in 2014, which aimed to cut down the rate to 6% by 2020.

Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: “It’s tremendous news that we’ve seen such a dramatic reduction in the number of children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home – meeting our target five years ahead of time. We launched our Take it Right Outside campaign because we know how harmful these chemicals can be for children’s lungs.”

It is estimated that the reduction to 6% exposure from the 12% level in 2012 could save around 50,000 children from smoke related health problems. Children’s smaller lungs make them more susceptible to the effects of the harmful chemicals from passive-smoking, which can linger for up to five hours, shows the Scottish Health Survey.

Mrs Campbell, said: “However I recognize we have much more work to do to improve Scotland’s public health. Many of these indicators are static, or not improving as quickly as we want. This government is committed to bringing forward new strategies for obesity, mental health, oral health and alcohol. We also remain committed to introducing minimum unit pricing to tackle the damage which high strength low cost alcohol causes in our communities.”

The Take it Right Outside campaign hopes to see further reductions in the next five years with a goal to continue reducing children’s exposure to second-hand smoke.

 

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