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Parents urged to stop smoking at home

26 March 10 02:08 GMT

Campaigners marking the fourth anniversary of Scotland's smoking ban have called for more action to protect young people from passive smoking.

ASH Scotland wants a "positive" campaign urging adults not to light up when children are present.

Sheila Duffy, the charity's chief executive, said there were about 300,000 children under 13 living with at least one parent who smokes.

The ban on smoking in public places was introduced on 26 March 2006.

Ms Duffy stated: "Today marks four years since Scotland's smoke-free public places legislation was introduced and our public health is benefiting greatly from this law which remains widely supported in terms of both public opinion and compliance."

'Protect' at home

She added: "Smoke-free public places were introduced to protect workers and others from the harm caused by second-hand smoke, but people are not protected in other areas such as the home.

"I would like to see much more work done to raise awareness of the harm that second-hand smoke can cause to children and a positive campaign to encourage adults not to smoke when children are present."

ASH Scotland is also calling for increased awareness of the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Ms Duffy said this had been linked to a number of health problems in youngsters, including respiratory problems, asthma and sudden infant death syndrome.

Smoking in cars

Earlier this week doctors had called on the Scottish Government to ban smoking in cars in order to reduce health risks for children.

A report by the Royal College of Physicians into the effect of passive smoking on children said smoking in cars was an "important and persistent" factor in exposing children to cigarette smoke.

The Scottish Government does not currently plan to extend the smoking ban to private cars.

Earlier this year Holyrood passed a law banning tobacco displays and cigarette vending sales.

At the time Public Health Minister Shona Robison said the legislation would bring in measures "designed to stop children from starting to smoke in the first place".

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