Smoking risk to babies ignored

PUBLISHED: 13:15 19 October 2009 | UPDATED: 12:08 10 June 2010

NEW research shows that passive smoking doubles the risk of cot deaths – and one in 10 of East Devon s adults still think second-hand smoke doesn t affect a child s health.

NEW research shows that passive smoking doubles the risk of cot deaths - and one in 10 of East Devon's adults still think second-hand smoke doesn't affect a child's health.

The survey also reveals that more than one in five adults allow smoking inside their home and one in five allows smoking in their vehicles at any time regardless if children are travelling as well.

Smokefree South West, the new organisation set up to drive stronger action to tackle tobacco in the region, has responded to these worrying figures by launching a hard hitting campaign which aims to reinforce understanding of the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

The campaign is launched on TV, radio, posters and in newspapers across the region from this week.

Peter Fleming, Professor of Infant Health at the University of Bristol said:

"I have been researching the causes of cot death in infants for almost 30 years and one of the most significant findings from our studies was the dramatic effect that exposure to second-hand smoke had on the risk of sudden death in infants.

"In a very large study that included almost half a million births we showed that for every hour of the day that infants are routinely exposed to tobacco smoke the risk of cot death increased by almost 100% - thus infants exposed to tobacco smoke for 8 or more hours per day had 8 times the risk of dying as those never exposed.


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