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New data shows 1 in 5 parents smoke around children


Data released today has revealed 1 in 5 parents who are regular smokers do not change their smoking behaviour in the presence of children.

The data from The Cancer Council Victoria shows 37% of parents who were regular smokers do not smoke in front of children while 43% reported smoking less when in the presence of children.

The results of the 2004 survey come on the same day as Quit calls for parents to make their homes smokefree for the New Year.

Executive Director of Quit Victoria, Mr Todd Harper, said making a home smokefree can not only help a smoker quit but also reduce second-hand smoke exposure for others living in the house.

"Second-hand smoke is a real health risk for people in a home, especially children. Tobacco smoke spreads through a house, carrying toxic chemicals that everyone in the house breathes in. They are all at higher risk of developing smoking-related illness."

The data released today shows the majority of parents (80%) discouraged smoking inside the home.

The figures also reveal that three-quarters of parents who were living in a smoking household reported the regular smoker(s) always smoke outside the home.

"It is encouraging that so many parents, including both smokers and non-smokers, go to such considerable efforts to ensure their homes are smokefree."

"Creating a smokefree home takes a little time to get used to but it can be done. For the sake of other people's health we urge smokers who don't feel ready to quit to set up a place outside where you can smoke."

"By reducing the exposure of children to situations where smoking occurs in the home, we can help dispel the myth that smoking is a normal behaviour."

Mr Harper said parents that choose to quit smoking in 2007 would be doing a great favour for their children.

"If parents can quit when their children are young, then the children are less likely to become smokers in adolescence,' said Mr Harper.



Edwina Vellar,
Media Manager
ph: (03) 9635 5400
mob: 0417 303 811

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