MORE than 100 Hyndburn households are now officially no-smoking zones thanks to a community campaign to improve the health of the borough’s children.
As part of a drive to keep youngsters away from the hazards of cigarette smoke, 117 households in Hyndburn pledged to make their homes either completely smoke-free or to reserve just one room in the house as a smoking room.
The East Lancashire Primary Care Trust initiative has been hailed a huge success with a total of 750 smoke-free homes in East Lancashire.
Householders are asked to pledge that their home will be smoke-free and parents, carers and visitors will not light up and place youngsters in danger of the effects of toxic smoke.
Health experts say that in households where both parents smoke, children have a 72 per cent increased risk of breathing-related illness, a 50 per cent increased risk of asthma and a 40 per cent increased risk of middle ear disease, which can lead to deafness.
Many of the householders taking part in the scheme have also cut down on the number of cigarettes they smoke and asked for help from the PCT stop smoking service in an effort to quit altogether.
Sue Hopkinson, who works at the Maden Community and Children’s Centre in Rossendale, where the scheme was launched last year, said: “Protecting the health of our children is the single main factor behind families making their homes smoke-free.
“When they realise how dangerous second-hand smoke is and what it can do to children it concentrates their minds.
“The majority of families go for a complete smoking ban, with 83 per cent of our pledges being for the full or gold standard.”
Those making the house totally smoke-free get a gold award and those limiting smoke to one room in the house receive a silver award.