Almost 16 percent of women in Cumbria and the North East smoke while expecting.Read the full story ›
The Public Health team at Cumbria County Council have welcomed a new law which bans people from smoking in cars in which children are present:
Their airways are less developed, they breathe more rapidly and obviously in a situation like a car they're in a very, very small enclosed space. We wouldn't allow it on public transport, why would we allow it in a car?"
A ban on smoking in cars carrying children is hailed as "landmark" legislation as research reveals the damage caused by second hand smoke.Read the full story ›
Smoking in vehicles carrying children has become a criminal offence in England - a move that has been welcomed by Cumbria County Council.Read the full story ›
The fire service is urging people to take care with e-cigarettes.
The warning comes after a fire broke out at a house in Carlisle, when an e-cigarette was left charging over night.
The smoke alarm went off and the flames were contained quickly. It's thought to be one of the first fires to have been caused by an e-cigarette in Cumbria.
Businesses in South Lakeland are being reminded that it is a legal requirement to display ‘no smoking’ signs at all entrances to their premises.
Spot-checks by council officers have revealed a significant number of businesses are still not complying with the legislation.
The government introduced smoke-free laws in 2007, which made it an offence to smoke in virtually all enclosed public places, workplaces and public and work vehicles.
Managers of smoke-free premises have a legal responsibility to prevent people smoking and part of the law requires no smoking signs to be displayed in a prominent position at every entrance to the premises.
Failure to comply with the laws is a criminal offence. Failure to display no smoking signs carries a fixed penalty notice of £200 imposed on whoever manages or occupies the smoke-free premises or vehicle, or a maximum fine of £1,000 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.
South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) officers are responsible for enforcing the law and can offer information and support to help businesses meet their legal obligations.
The council operates a ‘progressive enforcement’ policy, giving advice to businesses initially and only resorting to prosecution if the business fails to act on the advice.
“So far everyone we have spoken to has listened to the advice and we haven’t needed to issue any fixed penalty notices.
“But our recent checks have shown there are still many businesses that are not complying with the law. We just want to remind them that there is the risk of a fine or prosecution if they don’t do something about it.’’
NHS grounds in Dumfries and Galloway are to become smoke free from March 31.
"From this date, patients, visitors and staff will be asked to wait until they are off NHS grounds before lighting up and smoking shelters will be removed from hospital grounds.
"This ambitious move to achieve smoke free status in the grounds of every hospital, health centre and NHS building across the country is part of a national drive to create a tobacco free generation within Scotland by 2034."
Cumbria County Council has welcomed news plain cigarette packaging could come into force in England by 2016.
The government has announced MPs will vote on the plan before the General Election in May.
If it passes, the law will mean packets need to be dull brown outside, and white inside.
The legislation won't apply to Scotland - unless Holyrood introduces similar rules.
A health charity says there has been a five fold rise in the number of ex-smokers that now use electronic cigarettes in Scotland.
Ash Scotland's recent poll shows that the use of the electronic devices in the country has risen from three per cent to 14 per cent in four years.
E-cigarettes - or vaporizers - produce a vapour rather than smoke and are often used as an alternative to smoking.
Galashiels-based Dave Sidgwick told ITV Border he now uses a vaporizer after giving up smoking.
"I was sick of smoking, I just decided I would stop. I stopped last October, I smoked 50 cigarettes a day, and I went onto the vaporizer and I've never felt like a cigarette since."
Large retailers in Scotland are now banned from displaying cigarettes and tobacco products.
The ban will be rolled out to smaller shops in 2015.
Health campaigners say the law - which is already in force in England - will help stop young people smoking.
However, many retailers claim there is no evidence it will make a difference.
Kathryn Samson reports: