Don’t be a dummy ““ know the dangers of smoking in cars

Stoke-on-Trent City Council and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service will be showing you how to avoid being a dummy next month – and cut down on your smoking into the bargain.

Two special “test dummies” will be helping with a demonstration at Stoke City’s Britannia Stadium on Saturday 7 August to highlight the dangers of smoking in cars. Both were part of a study done in the West Midlands to find out the damage done to people travelling in cars by fellow passengers or the driver.

As part of the demonstration, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue will be filling a car with “safe smoke” to show how it can circulate quickly in an enclosed space, and how it can affect those travelling in the car. It has been estimated that smoking just one cigarette in a car, even with the window open, creates a harmful concentration of tobacco smoke. The largely invisible smoke, clings to the car’s upholstery, children’s car seats and passengers, putting people at risk of serious illnesses.

A recent study carried out in the West Midlands shows that people who inhale cigarette smoke while they are in a car, can inhale as much as three times the amount that would be considered safe to inhale over the course of a day. Even with the car’s windows or air conditioning on, it didn’t reduce it by a significant amount. The toddler sized dolls used in the study and the results from the research will be on display on the day, to highlight the effects of second hand smoke, in particular, the harmful effects on children.

Councillor Terry Follows, cabinet member for environment, waste management and neighbourhood services, said: “People may think that just because they have the windows open or the air conditioning on, then it’s ok to smoke or be with someone who is smoking, but in reality, it could have a serious effect on your long term health.

Claire McIver from NHS Stoke on Trent said: “Passive smoking in children and young people is a significant problem locally with over 50% of young people in Stoke on Trent exposed to other people’s tobacco smoke in the car, and around 1/3 in the home. It can lead to bronchitis, asthma, inner ear infections and even worsened behavioural problems and child development.

In addition children who are regularly exposed to smoking in their homes and cars are three times more likely to take up smoking themselves. The best thing you can do to protect others from the dangers of passive smoking is to make your home and car completely smoke free.”

As part of the demonstration, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue will also be flooding a car with “safe smoke” to show how it can circulate quickly in an enclosed space, and how it can affect those travelling in a car.

Firefighter Jim Taaffe from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, added: “It is important that people are aware of the dangers of smoking whilst in the car, as not only can the smoke itself cause health problems but it is also a distraction to the driver.

“It is also important to bear in mind that other people smoking in your car could distract you just as easily and distractions whilst driving can lead to serious accidents.”

NHS Stoke on Trent is very keen to support initiatives like this. The Stoke on Trent Stop Smoking Service offers support to any smoker who wants to quit in a wide range of settings across the city. Stop smoking medicines (such as patches and gum) are available for the cost of a prescription (or free to those who don’t pay for prescriptions). For more information about free services available to you locally call 0800 085 0928.

Plans Unveiled To Halve Smokers By 2020.

Government ministers have unveiled measures that are being considered to further lower the number of smokers in the UK. Numbers have fallen 35% to 21% in the years from 2000, and the target by 2020 is 10%.

Some measures being considered are the selling of cigarettes in unbranded packaging and a total ban on cigarette vending machines, witch is to be enforced in Scotland in 2011.

A full review of legislation that is now in place could see the public bans extended to cover entrances to building.

Forest, the smokers’ lobby group have criticised plans for eroding people’s ability to make lifestyle choices. Ash, the health charity have said they support the plan but they saw the need for a more wide covering and stronger pledges.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said of the plans that “We’ve come so far and now we’ll go even further, to push forward and save even more lives”.

The plans also includes a commitment to attempt to stop young people starting to smoke with a crackdown on illegally imported cheap cigarettes.

The NHS have said that smokers wanting to stop will be able to get help that suits them.

Government numbers prove that each year smoking contributes to 80,000 deaths within the UK and it costs the NHS upwards £2.7bn. Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said he hoped the strategy would discourage children starting to smoke and prevent a large amount of unnecessary and early deaths.

On the subject of the smoking ban, which became law in 2007, Forest told of the ban having a devastating impact on pubs and that any further restrictions would accelerate the trend. It asked that smoking adults be allowed to make an informed choice. It criticised the use of targets to, say there use was dangerous and the only way that government would reach them was to bring in illiberal, draconian legislation.

The UK Faculty of Public Health said it was happy the government intended to keep up the pressure on smoking, as it was the single biggest cause of ill-health within the country. It asked for good intentions be backed up with sustained investment in effective strategies.

Where Do They Get These Idiots From?

Comment By Warren

I like reading surveys on line, and two right good ones popped up this week that I really would like the share with you all.

The first one happens to be on one of my pet hates, smoking, and just goes to show just how daft some of the people who get up to this dirty old game are.

The survey was carried out by the University of Nottingham on 1,300 people, a group made up of 800 adult smokers and 500 teenagers who admit to smoking.

It seemed like most of the utter fools believed that branding such as ‘smooth’ ‘silver’ or ‘gold’ are, get this one, HEALTHIER for you and are easier to quit. But that’s not the end of this lots foolishness, most of them were also under the impression that the jolly killing sticks in lighter coloured packing such as white, light blue, silver and light gold were also less harmful to health.

In the case of one make of cigarettes, Marlboro, researches found out that this lot believed that the ones in the gold and white packs are better for you (lol) then the ones in the dark red and white pack, even thought they are the same cigarettes but with a lighter coloured filter tip.

It seems like most of this came about after 2002 when the EU rightly banned such phrases as ‘low tar’ ‘light’ and ‘mild ‘ from packs of cigarettes.

All this lot sort of ties in with advice given to youngsters growing up in Blurton in the late seventies: smoke Silk Cut, smaller, filtered and not half as strong as Park Drive, and if you needed a real good hit, your could rip the filter off.

The other survey is just as worrying and is about contraception, some of this is outrageous. Carried out by the market research experts Opinion Health for Bayer Schering Pharima it involved 1,000 women aged 18 to 50.

It seems like 20% of this lot believe in “Ëœdo it yourself’ contraception. Every day items some of them believe to be fine to use as a form of barrier method are: bread (giving a new slant to the name ‘Mothers Pride’), cling film and, get this one, chicken skins. Â  10% of these jokers think that it takes years to regain normal fertility after taking the Contraceptive pill for a time and some are under the impression that the pill will indeed give them a form of protection from HIV and other STDs.

I’ll save the best one till last, this lot were asked if they believed if any foodstuff possessed contraceptive properties, the answer was not ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’, it was 3. Crisps 2. Cola 1. Kebab’s.

It’s ever likely we are being overrun with chav offspring, that’s the average diet of the greater encrusted fake golden chavvett.

Bunch of bloody fools, the lot of them.