The home is the #1 place where children and pets are more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke. We’re answering some frequently asked questions to helping you to make your home smokefree.

Why smokefree homes?

80% of cigarette smoke is invisible

It’s doing more damage than you think. The invisible poisons linger around the house for up to 5 hours. It is made up of particles smaller than household dust, so it moves easily from room to room.

For the kids

They are much more vulnerable to second-hand smoke than adults. They have small airways and breathe faster; their lungs and immune systems are still developing. They are at risk of coughs, colds, ear problems, chest infections and poorer lung function.

For the pets

Our pets have small lungs. When someone smokes around them, they lick and ingest the smoke particles clinging to their fur. Second-paw smoke can cause breathing problems and cancer in cats, dogs, rabbits, birds even your goldfish!

For your furniture

Third-hand smoke is the tobacco residue left behind after smoking, it builds up and stains surfaces and furnishings. Children can ingest third-hand by putting their hands in their mouths after touching contaminated surfaces, such as furniture and toys.

For your neighbours

Smoke drift is the name for indirect second-hand smoke from other people’s homes. Low levels of exposure may cause irritation to the eyes and lungs, nausea and headaches as well as creating an unpleasant smell in neighbouring properties.

Fire Risk

In the UK, someone dies from a fire caused by a cigarette every 3 days. In 2014/15, 163 fires were caused by smoking materials in Wales. Using an e-cig indoors? Take extra care with the chargers and avoid counterfeit or substandard goods.

What about opening the window?

People often think that they can remove the risk from second-hand smoke exposure by opening windows or doors, not smoking in front of the kids, smoking in one room, smoking under an extractor fan or using air purifiers, fresheners or candles. None of these work!

The only way to completely reduce exposure to second-hand smoke is by smoking outside the home and closing the door!


What are the benefits?

Save money

Quitting smoking can save you a lot of money. Smoke 20 cigs a day? You could save up to £2920! Holiday anyone?

Less trips to the GP

Children will need less trips to the doctor for eye, ear and chest problems and are less likely to develop asthma.

Less trips to the Vet

Pets will be healthier and less likely to develop breathing problems or cancer – saving on those pesky vet bills.

Happy Home

There’s less risk of a house fire and the house will no longer smell of cigarettes! Give that wall a fresh lick of paint to celebrate!

How can I make my home smokefree?

Be prepared

Set a date for your smokefree home and tell your family and friends. Make a list of other things you can do to distract yourself when you feel like having a smoke.

If you have outdoor space, keep an ashtray outside and maybe even a chair. In case of rain, leave an umbrella/shoes/waterproof jacket by the door.


Take smoking outside

First make sure your children are safe indoors. Then close any windows near where you smoke and close the door behind you.

Don’t have any outdoor space? Take different opportunities to smoke when you’re out and about – when you’re taking the rubbish out or walking to the shops. Then use nicotine spray, gum, patches or lozenges to get you through the day, when you’re indoors.


Ask your guests to smoke outside too

First, text your visitors in advance, especially if they are used to lighting up in your house. Let them know your home is smokefree and they will have to smoke outside.

If you don’t have any space outdoors where you and visitors can smoke, advise them to smoke before they arrive or to bring nicotine patches, gum, lozenges to get them through.


Still have questions?

Download our info pack

The home is the #1 place where children and pets are more likely to be exposed to second-hand smoke. This booklet is packed with tips, tricks and those frequently asked questions to help you make the decision as to whether or not your home should be smokefree.

Who can help me to quit smoking?

Tailored support

Help Me Quit is a new, free NHS service in Wales. They will help you to pick the best way to quit, whether that’s telephone support, one-to-one or group meetings or the local pharmacy. They can also recommend which nicotine replacements, such as patches or gum, are best for you.


Phone: 0800 085 2219 – Text: HMQ to 80818