A nine-year-old boy in Shropshire has begged an NHS helpline to help him quit smoking.
Labour is attempting to ban smoking in cars carrying children in England.
Some of Leicestershire's biggest sporting names are backing a new campaign to help people in the region stop smoking.
Yesterday we reported on plans by Labour to place a ban on smoking in cars carrying children.
The plans have now moved a step closer after a vote in the House of Lords.
Campaigners say the ban will protect 500,000 children who are exposed to smoke in cars every week.
Last night's vote means it could become law if MPs are given a free vote on the issue when it returns to the Commons.
Baroness Floella Benjamin said that second hand smoke is a 'major trigger' for people who suffer from asthma.
Read more on the story here.
You have been giving us your views on our Facebook page on whether smoking in cars while carrying children should be banned.
Here is a selection of your comments:
Steven Allsop: "Smoking in cars should be banned full stop."
Stephanie Newton: "Unsure why a law should be needed. Anyone who cares about their children's health would not smoke around them wherever that is. Just be better parents and less selfish. Surely this shouldn't even be a debate."
Rachel Fairfield: "As a smoker, ban cigarettes totally! Temptation is too hard! If I had willpower I wouldn't smoke at all! Ban it!"
Diane Reed: "I agree no smoking in cars with children. But if I wish to smoke in my car on my own that's my choice."
Hayley Conway: "It should be banned altogether and save the country millions in healthcare!"
Downing Street said David Cameron was ready to "listen to the arguments" about a ban on smoking in cars that are carrying children.
The Prime Minister's official spokesman told a media briefing, "This is an issue that is going to be discussed and debated in Parliament today, and the Prime Minister's view is that he wants to listen to the arguments."
Smoking in cars that are carrying children has already been banned in some states of Canada, Australia and the US and the whole of South Africa.
Canada's Cancer Advisory Coalition claims the states' bans on smoking in cars have reduced children's exposure to second-hand smoke by 33%.
47 children are taking up smoking every day in the West Midlands, according to new research by the Royal Brompton Hospital.
Experts say younger people are being influenced by celebrities on film and TV, and that new laws are needed to tackle the problem.
When making the decision to stop, people often don’t know what to expect and how long the process can take. It can take 3 months to become a non-smoker. Physical cravings often last less than a week, whilst it’s the psychological craving which goes on for longer.
Here are a few ideas to help you approach the challenge of quitting:
Planning to stop...
Choose a day to quit. Ask your family and friends for support
Plan a reward for the end of the first day / first week / first month
Bin all your cigarettes, ashtrays and lighters
Consult your GP about nicotine replacement therapy (net), proven to double your success rate
How to stop...
Get through the first day
Chew sugar-free gum as a replacement
For strong cravings take deep breaths and delay giving in to the urge, which will pass after a couple of minutes
Play with a pencil or coin if you need to hold something; Anything but a cigarette
How to stay smoke-free...
Take it one day at a time
Avoid situations associated with smoking to begin with
Don’t be tempted to smoke one cigarette. This often leads to two, three and many more
Save cigarette money as an incentive. On average smokers spend over £100 per month
Sports stars from Leicester have been out today to support the launch of the 'Balls to Stop' anti-smoking campaign.
The 'Balls To Stop' campaign recognises the negative impact that smoking has on the local community and it aims to stop it. But in order to quit smoking, you have to want to quit smoking first.
Here are a few facts which might make you think twice before lighting up again:
- Quit before 35 and life-expectancy is only slightly less than a non-smoker
- Quit before 50 and the smoking-related death-risk is reduced by 50%
- A twenty-a-day smoker saves over £1000 a year
- Improved general health and well-being
- Reduction in chest-infections/colds
- Food and drink tastes better
When attempting to stop smoking, people often don't know what to expect. If you're thinking of quitting, this simple timeline shows how you stand to benefit over time, from the moment you decide to give up:
- After 72 hours - Breathing becomes easier, as Bronchial tubes begin to relax and energy levels increase
- 1 month - Skin appearance improves, owing to improved skin perfusion
- 3 to 8 months - Cough, wheezing and breathing problems improve and lung function increases by up to 10%
- 1 year - Risk of a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker
- 10 years - Risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker
- 15 years - Risk of heart attack falls to the same level that it would be for someone who has never smoked