Fewer parents smoke near children
PARENTS were smoking less around their young children as they became more aware of the health risks, the New South Wales Cancer Council said today.
A survey of 600 smokers with children under six found 73 per cent of such households are now smoke-free â€“ up from 55 per cent in 2002 â€“ with parents and carers opting to light up outside.
The survey also found 60 per cent of parents who smoked had stopped smoking in their cars when young children were present â€“ up from 42 per cent three years ago.
The results come after a three-year campaign funded by the NSW Health Department to educate parents about the risks passive smoking posed to children.
Second-hand smoke increases the risk of ear, nose, throat and chest infections, asthma, pneumonia, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and learning and behavioural problems in children.
Cancer Council health strategies director Anita Tang said the survey results were great news.
"Parents want to do the right thing, but when we launched the campaign three years ago many who smoked just weren't aware of how the smoke was hurting their kids," she said.
Fiona Krautil, chief executive of the Asthma Foundation of NSW, said: "It's fantastic to see so many parents have listened to the very important message of this campaign and are making conscious decisions to smoke elsewhere for the sake of their child's well-being."