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'Will smoking affect my kids?'

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Smokers can damage the health of other people too.
Smokers can damage the health of other people too.

Q. I have a family member who is quite a heavy smoker and I’m worried about my kids being around them. What are the risks of second-hand smoke?

A. Breathing in other people’s smoke is known as exposure to second-hand smoke or passive smoking. People exposed to second-hand smoke face the same dangers as smokers themselves. They inhale the same poisonous gases and toxic chemicals. Their risk of developing smoking-related diseases also increases.

Smoke can linger in a room for up to five hours. If smoking in a confined space this also exposes others to the harmful chemicals. Smoking in cars with children on board has been banned in Scotland since December 2016

Pregnant women exposed to second-hand smoke will pass on harmful chemicals to their babies. Second-hand smoke is also particularly harmful for children, and others with long-term heart and/or breathing conditions.

Q. I’m 60 years old and have recently moved to Scotland with my family. What health screening am I entitled to?

A. Health screening programmes are designed to detect early signs of a condition and provide referral and treatment where necessary. If you’re invited to be screened, you’ll be tested for a particular condition — for example bowel screening only looks for signs of bowel cancer.

In Scotland, screening is offered for abdominal aortic aneurysms; bowel cancer; breast cancer; cervical cancer; diabetic retinopathy.

You’ll be invited to be screened based on your age and/or gender.

To ensure you are invited to the right screening programme at the right time, make sure you are registered with a GP practice in Scotland and ensure they have your current address.

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