Common childhood illnesses & well-being
A guide for parents and carers
Smokefree homes

Smokefree homes

Protecting your child's health

Smoking near your children can significantly affect not only your health but also your child's health.

  • Cigarette smoke increases the chances of breathing difficulties in babies.

  • Cigarette smoke makes the symptoms of asthma worse.

  • Cigarette smoke increases the chances of your children getting ear infections and needing ear operations.

  • Cigarette smoke increases the risk of sudden and unexpected death in babies.

  • Secondhand smoke has an impact on children attending school.

If you want to smoke, then it is best to take 7 steps outside your home to ensure it does not affect your children.

Remember - it is also important to have a smokefree car at all times as exposure to the chemicals in secondhand smoke is increased in a confined space even with the windows open!

The benefits of taking 7 steps out

  • It can help improve the health of your children.

  • Your children won’t see you smoking, so might not be tempted to start.

  • It might cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke.

  • It keeps your home smelling and looking fresh.
Smokefree Homes

Keep your home smokefree

  • Tell everyone in your house, and any visitors, that your home is now smokefree.

  • Keep a pair of slip-on shoes and other all-weather bits by your back door, so you can go out anytime.

  • Keep an ashtray 7 steps from your back door as a reminder. It’ll help keep the garden tidy too.

  • Can’t make it outside? Nicotine replacement methods like patches and gum can help.

  • If you smoke, or are exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy, it means that your baby shares chemicals from the smoke you breathe.

  • Thinking of quitting? Visit or call 0300 123 1044.


Smoking anywhere near your children affects their health as well as yours.


Opening a window or standing by the door is not enough to protect children from the effects of smoking.


Take 7 Steps out to ensure you are protecting your children.