A CAMPAIGN has been launched to make Hampshire’s homes smoke-free.
Local authorities have teamed up to launch an initiative to stop people smoking indoors, especially around children.
The campaign is also targeted at drivers who smoke in their cars.
Schools are also taking part in a competition for pupils to design a poster to encourage people who smoke to do so outside, with an exclusive VIP tour of their local fire station on offer as the prize.
The scheme is being backed by Hampshire County Council, the fire service, the NHS and Havant and Gosport councils.
Councillor Liz Fairhurst, who heads public health in Hampshire, said: ‘We hope this campaign will capture the imagination of local schoolchildren and give us some brilliant designs that will really help to spread the message that the best way to protect children from the dangers of cigarettes is not to smoke around them.’
Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of asthma, middle ear infections and meningitis.
Cigarettes are the second most common cause of fires in Hampshire homes.
David Hodge, station manager at Havant fire station, said: ‘As a fire service we would encourage people to be aware of the increased risk of fire as well as the dangers of second hand smoke. Smoker’s materials, such as cigarettes and matches, cause the largest proportion of fire deaths in the home.’