If you've been wanting to kick the habit, today could be the perfect day. Not only is it the start of 'Stoptober' - a nationwide campaign to help you have a smoke-free month - but a new law has come into place today making it illegal for anyone to smoke in vehicles with children present, designed ot protect them from secondhand smoke.
The new ban means both the driver and the smoker can be fined £50 if anyone smokes in a vehicle with a person who is under 18, even if the windows are open.
Newcastle University, Public Health England and Fresh Smoke Free North East conducted an experiment to highlight the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke in vehicles. This tested the levels of dangerous chemicals (fine particles known as PM2.5) to which children can be exposed in the back seat of a car when a driver is smoking.
Despite what people might think, opening the car windows does not remove the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. The experiment showed that even with the window open, levels of dangerous chemicals were more than 100 times higher than recommended safety guidelines.
When the windows were closed and the fan on, levels of chemicals were more than 200 times higher than safety guidelines. Furthermore, the amount of the poisonous gas Carbon Monoxide (CO) was two to three times higher than on a busy road at rush hour.
Smokers wishing to quit are encouraged to take part in Stoptober, the country’s 28-day mass quit attempt from Public Health England, which also begins today. Those taking part will receive free and exclusive support every step of the way from top comedians Bill Bailey, Al Murray, Shappi Khorsandi and Rhod Gilbert. Stoptober is based on research that by stopping smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stop for good.
To sign up to the nation’s biggest mass quit attempt and the thousands of people all quitting togetherfor Stoptober click here