support to help PARENTS-TO-BE go smokefree
A new campaign
is being launched this week in the North West to encourage
mums-to-be and their partners to quit smoking. The campaign,
launched by Smokefree North West and backed by former Hollyoaks star
and TV presenter Terri Dwyer, aims to raise awareness of the risks
of smoking during pregnancy as well as the support available to help
parents-to-be to kick the habit.
As part of the initiative, both mums-to-be and dads-to-be are being
targeted with a series of hard-hitting new TV adverts. The adverts
highlight how mums to be who stop smoking - no matter how far along
in pregnancy - can have immediate benefits to their baby. The
adverts also show that dads to be who smoke around their unborn baby
are increasing the baby’s risk of developing health problems.
Every cigarette smoked by a pregnant woman restricts the essential
oxygen supply to her baby, so that its tiny heart has to beat harder
every time its mother smokes. The good news is that stopping smoking
will benefit the baby immediately and after two days of being smokefree, the nicotine leaves the body. This is the positive
message Smokefree North West wants pregnant women who smoke to hear.
Terri Dwyer, who lives in the North West with her husband and young
son, provided the voiceover for the TV advert. She said:-“Having
lost both of my parents to cancer, I feel very strongly about
raising awareness of the free help and support that is available to
encourage people to quit smoking. Quitting is not easy and it can
take some pregnant smokers several attempts to get off cigarettes
for good. My mum was a smoker and I’ve always suffered from
asthma as a result of being exposed to second hand smoke as a young
child. Now I’m a mum myself, I feel very strongly that all babies
and children should be entitled to grow in a healthy environment
without being exposed to the harmful effects of tobacco.”
Beverley Hughes, Minister for the North West (and Minister of State
for Children, Young People and Families) is supporting the campaign. She said:- “I strongly support this initiative in highlighting
the risks of smoking during pregnancy and in particular the role of
dads to be. The effects of smoking – directly and through second
hand smoke – on the unborn baby can be avoided if the mum to be and
those around her get the help they need to quit. I hope this
campaign contributes to all the efforts in this region to improve
the health of children and reduce smoking, especially for the North
West’s more deprived communities. I wish them success with this
Andrea Crossfield, Director of Smokefree North West, said:-
“The effects smoking can have on families are a real cause for
concern in some of the most deprived communities of the North West. Tackling the issue of parents-to-be smoking during pregnancy will
take us one step further towards breaking the inter-generational
cycle of tobacco-related health inequalities we face in the region.
There is plenty of help on offer and I would urge any parents to be
who want their baby to grow in a smokefree environment to contact
the NHS Pregnancy Smoking Helpline on 0800 169 9 169. Research has
shown that smokers who quit with NHS support are up to four times
more likely to succeed.”
As part of the region-wide initiative, Smokefree North West is also
working with local health professionals to help reduce the number
parents to be who smoke in the region.
Last year, 2,987
pregnant women in the region successfully stopped smoking with the NHS Stop Smoking Service.
MEPs combat child pornography on the Internet
calling for the criminalisation of all types of sexual abuse of
children including "grooming" and paedophile chat
rooms on the internet. MEPs will vote this week on a report
this week calling for the criminalisation of internet providers of
paedophile chat rooms and forums and to require national authorities
to block access to or delete the domain names of the websites
concerned. The report also calls for credit card companies to
cooperate to block the internet-based payment systems for websites
involved in child pornography.
Local Labour Euro MP and children’s rights campaigner Arlene
McCarthy said:- “Child abuse on the internet does not stop at
national boundaries as police work has shown, tracking one UK case
led to the discovery of information on a German foster parent and a
Swedish army sergeant. We are talking about in some cases the
abuse of babies as young as 3 months. That is why we need
action at a European level. We need an increased level of
protection of children throughout Europe in view of the development
of new technology, in particular the internet."
The report also calls for EU citizens who commit a sex crime outside
the EU to be subject to standard extraterritorial legislation.
Applicants for certain posts working with children should also
undergo a criminal records check and those whose work involves
regular contact with children should have an obligation to report
situations where abuse is suspected.
Arlene added:- "All Member States need the same definition of
the sexual abuse of children to ensure that there are no loopholes
for those exploiting children anywhere within the EU.
New technologies such as photo messaging and digital cameras make it
easier for child abuse images to be produced and shared on the
internet. Lets hope that this report opens up new channels for
action at an EU level to tackle this scourge of the internet age!”
Join the team -
Yorkshire 3 Peaks
yourself to one of the UK’s most rewarding walks and help the Red
Cross support those facing challenges everyday.
The Red Cross helps support people, from within our local
communities to across the world, out of crisis. By joining the
British Red Cross Yorkshire 3 Peak team you will be doubly rewarded
– in the achievements of the day and in the knowledge
that you are helping others. This walk covers 24½ miles,
reaching the summits of Pen-y-Ghent (2277 ft), Whernside (2415 ft)
and Ingleborough (2372 ft). The walk starts and finishes in
the village of Horton and covers a variety of terrain taking in some
of the most magnificent scenery in the country.
Laura Cooper, Senior Fundraiser at the Red Cross:- “It is such
a great feeling to know that you have actually done the renown
Yorkshire 3 Peak walk. It is only topped by the fact that you
have helped others too!”
There is a registration fee of £10 to take part in the event and we
are asking people to raise a minimum sponsorship of £100. All
participants will receive a fundraising pack and walkers guide and
the local fundraising team will be on hand to offer advice and
support. Money raised from the event will help fund Red Cross
services in the local community as well as overseas.
If you want to take up the challenge, to register for the event or
for more information contact Laura on 0161 888 8915 or by