Data released today has revealed more than 4 in 10 smokers still smoke in the presence of children.
The data, from a Cancer Council Victoria survey, shows that 56% of regular smokers do not smoke around children while 33% reported smoking less when around children.
Alarmingly, almost 1 in 10 smokers do not alter their smoking behaviour at all when they are around children.
The data also reveals that 11% of regular smokers either usually or always smoke inside the home, despite a child living there.
The results of the survey come on the same day Quit is launching a hard-hitting new campaign reminding smokers of impact their smoking has not only on them, but also their children.
The campaign, titled ‘Cigarettes are eating you and your kids alive, hits television screens in Victoria from this weekend and features graphic images to highlight the health consequences of exposing children to second-hand smoke.
Executive Director of Quit, Ms Fiona Sharkie said the data released underlined the importance of running the campaign given how especially vulnerable children are to second-hand smoke.
"When you smoke around kids you are exposing them to thousands of chemicals that are, as this campaign illustrates, eating them alive."
"Cigarette smoke contains poisons like cyanide and carbon monoxide that trigger severe health problems in children, including ear infections, asthma, and deadly pneumonia. Cigarette smoke is linked to low birth weight and doubles the risk of SIDS."
The figures also reveal that 82% of Victorian smokers who live with a child under the age of 18 reported that they always or usually smoke outside.
"It is fantastic that so many smokers make the effort to ensure their homes are smokefree. By reducing the exposure of children to situations where smoking occurs, we can ‘denormalise' smoking and help prevent our kids from becoming future smokers," said Ms Sharkie.
The research also looked at the reasons given by current smokers, who do not smoke at all or who smoke less when around children, as to why they change their smoking behaviour when around children.
The majority of smokers said that they did not want to expose children to smoke (85%) with wanting to set a good example was the second highest reason (50%).
Nearly 10% of smokers admitted the reason their behaviour changed is they were not allowed to smoke around children.
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