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Respiratory nurses campaign against smoking in cars

  • 10 Comments

Nurses have been urged to join a campaign and help spread the word about the serious health risks to children caused by adults smoking in cars.

Respiratory nurses and other health professionals are among 15,000 people to sign a petition as part of a British Lung Foundation (BLF) push to stop smoking in cars.

The petition was presented at 10 Downing Street on Wednesday to coincide  with the publication of new research by the BLF that shows more than half of five to eight-year-olds have been exposed to cigarette smoke in a car.

“There is good evidence to show children exposed to smoking in a confined space like a car, even for a short time at, are at increased risk of developing illnesses such as asthma and cancer in later life,” said Alison Sutherland, a BLF nurse based in Nottingham.

“One car journey can have the same effect as a night in a smoky pub before the smoking ban.”

She said practice nurses and those working in hospitals could do much to get this message across to adult patients with children.

“It’s a simple message but it’s something people might not have thought about so it’s about getting that message out there,” she said. “People still respect what nurses say.”

Nurses could also refer patients to the British Lung Foundation helpline and other resources, and sign the petition.

The BLF surveyed more than 1,000 children earlier this year. Eighty-six per cent said they wanted people to stop smoking when children were in a car.

A seat on the board is now tweeting at @Aseatontheboard, follow for all the latest campaign news! Ensure nurses have a seat on consortia boards!

  • 10 Comments

Readers' comments (10)

  • Quite frankly the assault on smokers is taking frightening dimensions. Can you health professionals explain when smoking reached its peak in 1948 when 52% of adults smoked compared to 28% now if you include cigar and pipe smokers, asthma and atopy has risen threefold?

    Can you explain Mishra paper in 2008 which found that "The results unequivocally show that, even after multiple allergen sensitizations, nicotine dramatically suppresses inflammatory/allergic parameters in the lung.."

    There are 33 papers into children passively smoking, 4 suggest a risk for lung cancer 11 say protection and the remainder the null hypothesis. The most (in)famous one being the 1998 WHO/IRAC Boffetta paper which concluded "RESULTS: ETS exposure during childhood was not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer (odds ratio [OR] for ever exposure = 0.78; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.64-0.96).

    Can you explain the RCP's graph on middle ear disease which is a straight line, even slightly tailing off at the point of most exposure.

    Reducing smoking prevalence may or may not be a noble cause, frightening parents based on dubious science is wrong.

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  • ".....shows more than half of five to eight-year-olds have been exposed to cigarette smoke in a car."
    And the common sense 'survey' tells you that 100% of children have been subjected to massive amounts of toxic exhaust fumes from the day they were born.
    Therefore, will the RCN & the RCP please support the necessity for banning all forms of petrol/deisel powered motorised vehicles?

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  • I see ASH have been at work here again 80% + as usual!

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  • If I can back up what Phil is saying Conservative MP Tim Yeo Chair of the Parliament's Environmental Committee said car pollution causes 5x more deaths than passive smoking of exhaust fumes.


    “Air pollution probably causes more deaths than passive smoking, traffic accidents or obesity, yet it receives very little attention from Government or from the media."

    Should we not be banning cars first?

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  • If people want to smoke in their cars on their own its fine. There choice. If they have children in the car then no, they have no choice.

    Also, smoking can be a distraction and could cause driving abilty to be poor.

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  • @Iain

    I am afraid that is completely untrue, yet another myth or spin that has to be nipped in the bud.

    As you can see smoking is the least of ones problems for an accident. This was an analysis done in America. Only 0.9% of car accidents can be attributed to smokers.


    Specific Distraction % of Drivers

    Outside person, object, or event 29.4%

    Adjusting radio/cassette/CD 11.4%

    Other occupant 10.9%

    Moving object in vehicle 4.3%

    Other device/object 2.9%

    Adjusting vehicle/climate controls 2.8%

    Eating and/or drinking 1.7%

    Using/dialing cell phone 1.5%

    Smoking related 0.9%

    Other distractions 25.6%

    Unknown distraction 8.6%

    http://www.drivers.com/article/423

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  • @Iain

    I am afraid that is completely untrue, yet another myth or spin that has to be nipped in the bud.

    As you can see smoking is the least of ones problems for an accident. This was an analysis done in America. Only 0.9% of car accidents can be attributed to smokers.


    Specific Distraction % of Drivers

    Outside person, object, or event 29.4%

    Adjusting radio/cassette/CD 11.4%

    Other occupant 10.9%

    Moving object in vehicle 4.3%

    Other device/object 2.9%

    Adjusting vehicle/climate controls 2.8%

    Eating and/or drinking 1.7%

    Using/dialing cell phone 1.5%

    Smoking related 0.9%

    Other distractions 25.6%

    Unknown distraction 8.6%

    http://www.drivers.com/article/423

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  • Intresting 'robust' defences. My experience informs my feeling about smoking but it doesn't demand abolition or you can't tell me what to do responses either. both my parents smoked 40/d+ all of our childhoods until one died at 39 and the other has been in and out of hospital, had multiple heart operations and lung problems since I was a small child. One of my siblings has had cancer before 40 and the other has a chronic asthma. none of my grandparents were asthmatic. They always smoked in the car, both of them, and I was always puking in the back into the permanantly place potty under the car seat. I also have had asthma as well.
    I would be curious to hear your defence of my parents' behaviour and the consequences for both them and us, the children.

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  • Are you aware that it's actually ILLEGAL to smoke in a company car! Britain 2011..my God.

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  • Factors that are known to increase the likelihood of developing asthma include:

    •a family history of asthma or other related allergic conditions (known as atopic conditions), such as eczema, food allergy or hay fever
    •developing another atopic condition such as a food allergy
    •having bronchiolitis as a child (a common lung infection among children)
    •being exposed to tobacco smoke as a child, particularly if your mother smoked during pregnancy
    •being born prematurely (especially if you needed a ventilator)
    •being born with a low birth weight (less than 2kg or 4.5 pounds)
    Driving a car is the most air polluting act an average citizen commits
    Car exhaust is toxic at ground level Exhaust from all combustion engines combine to produce local adverse effects on the health of car users and all innocent bystanders
    In cities across the globe, the personal automobile is the single greatest polluter, as emissions from a billion vehicles on the road add up to a planet-wide problem. Driving a private car is a typical citizen's most air polluting activity. The negative effects of automotive emissions are maximum when you sit in traffic surrounded by cars, their engines idling. Everyone sitting in a traffic jam is getting poisoned

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