A new campaign has been launched warning smokers of the dangers of second-hand smoke on children.
Youngsters and family members could be at risk from carbon monoxide, lead, arsenic and benzene from people who smoke in the home and car.
Fresh has re-launched its Secondhand Smoke Is Poison campaign to encourage smokers to quit or take their habit outside, ensuring children are not regularly exposed to smoke in indoor spaces.
Figures from the British Thoracic Society in 2016 suggest that one in three children who ends up in hospital with an asthma attack has been exposed to cigarette smoke.
Evidence also shows that adults exposed to second-hand smoke are at increased risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer.
And a new survey has revealed that 11 per cent of adults living in the north east say they are exposed to other people’s smoke in their own home by someone who lives there.
Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh, said: “No one wants to put their family at risk.
“However second-hand smoke is a serious risk to health, spreading around the house and lingering long after you can see it or smell it.
“Smoking with the back door or window open does little to protect the family – quitting or taking it completely outside is the only way.
“Second-hand smoke results in numerous health problems in infants and children that require hospital and GP attention.
“However, people often forget that smoke can cause serious health problems among older children, and adults are affected as well and they need protecting too.”
Dr Malcolm Brodlie, consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine at the Great North Children’s Hospital, said: “Breathing in second-hand smoke is harmful to people from all age groups, but children are especially vulnerable as their lungs are still developing and they breathe faster than adults so inhale more of the harmful poisons.
“There is no safe level of exposure. We see the effects of this in hospital too often.”
Anyone who wants help to quit smoking should visit www.nhs.uk/smokefree