The dangers of exposure to second-hand smoke are well documented, with changes to the law making it illegal to smoke in most workplaces and enclosed public spaces in the UK since July 2007. However despite this, the number of smoking households in Britain is increasing every year with significant numbers of adults and children exposed to tobacco in the home.
Whilst traditional stop smoking services have focused on supporting individuals to become smoke free over a 12-week programme, it has been suggested that in line with the reduction of individuals accessing these services, there should be a greater focus on harm reduction and prevention. With local initiatives focused on smoke free parks and school gates and new legislation coming into force in October 2015 making it illegal to smoke in cars carrying children, there is a currently a clear focus on a harm reduction agenda.
The benefits of a smoke free home are immediate. The risk of any child becoming unwell as a result of smoking is reduced, as is the impact on existing conditions such as asthma. The home will smell fresher and feel cleaner and there is a lower likelihood that children within the family home will go on to smoke as adults. Additionally, the risk of a fire starting in a home will also be reduced.
ICE are currently delivering an innovative pilot programme in Coventry primary schools to model the best ways to engage with parents and prompt changes in smoking behaviours as a way of driving quitters, while also supporting harm reduction through a smokefree home.
We are engaging with parents at grass roots level to uncover their key barriers to quitting smoking. Also, we are working in partnership with key stakeholders and individuals across Coventry to facilitate and co-create a range of activities that uncover insights around behaviours, beliefs and values. This insight is allowing us to co-design a sustainable, integrated and community driven model that engages parents and communities to live well and will provide a strong evidence base for similar projects across the country.
ICE are also currently delivering services focused on temporary smoking abstinence in the home through behaviour support; self-help materials and access to a small amount of NRT as a mechanism of harm reduction and also a step on the journey to becoming smoke free.
The services that we offer and the support we are providing is evolving in line with the needs of the individuals we deliver to. Whilst we have supported many people who are ready to quit, we must now think creatively and model services that are tailored to specific harder to reach groups and support individuals to becoming smoke free – even if it is a longer journey.
For more information please contact Graeme Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org