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Chemical Soup spreads through North West communities and encourages parents to Take 7 Steps Out

Chemical Soup

Arsenic, toilet cleaner and nail varnish remover aren’t the usual ingredients you would give your children this autumn – but parents who smoke in the North West are being reminded that this could be the case unless they take ‘7 steps’ out of the house when smoking.

The advice follows a series of sessions which took place in the North West over the last year as part of the ‘Chemical Soup’ initiative which educated parents, volunteers and health workers about the dangers of second hand cigarette smoke.

Developed by Tobacco Free Futures and children’s charity Barnardo’s working in partnership with Manchester Stop Smoking Service, the ‘chemical soup kit’ complete with cooking pot and fake hazardous liquids, was presented to attendees in a fun and visual way and highlighted some of the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke. Of more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, 60 are known to cause cancer as well as avoidable childhood illnesses.

A new survey of more than 1000 participants who completed the training revealed that almost three quarters (71%) who indicated their homes were not smoke free before the session pledged to make their homes smoke free following it.

Elaine Samson a Carer from Blackburn with Darwen said: “I used to be a smoker for thirty years and I never realised that there are more than 4,000 chemicals in a cigarette.

“My husband and daughter are smokers and I’m going to share what I’ve learnt with them both so that they know how to protect others from the harms of secondhand smoke.”

This community activity was the next stage of the successful Take 7 Steps Out campaign – which encourages smokers to smoke outside of their home, especially when children are in the house – and delivered jointly by Tobacco Free Futures and Barnardo’s.

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