School lessons to educate on second-hand smoke

With 11% of children saying someone smokes indoors in the same room as them, new resource packs to teach children and their families about the dangers of second-hand smoke have launched

Breaking a cigarette

The dangers of second-hand smoke are being highlighted to primary school children in a new countywide project. 

With 11% of children saying someone smokes indoors in the same room as them, and 13% saying the same inside cars, resource packs have been created for schools to educate on the damage second-hand smoke can cause. 

Designed to be used in lessons for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children, resource packs centre around the story of Jenny and the Bear, as the pair navigate different situations involving second-hand smoke from cigarettes in homes and cars, alongside the harmful effects it can have. 

With a soft toy bear being used as part of the activity, the interactive lessons are hoped to educate children and encourage discussion with parents and carers about the dangers. 

A Health Related Behaviour Survey by the county council’s Public Health team surveyed primary and secondary school children across Leicestershire. It found that 11% of children asked said someone smokes at home indoors in rooms that they use, and 13% said someone smokes in a car when they are in it too.  

The law around smoking in vehicles changed in 2015, making smoking in any vehicle with someone under the age of 18 illegal, to protect children from the danger of second-hand smoke.  


This is a really inventive and creative way to educate about an important topic to try and reduce how much children are exposed to second hand smoke. This is about preventing health problems from an early age. 

They can take this discussion point home from school with them and we hope parents and carers can understand just how harmful second-hand smoking can be in the long term.

Councillor Louise Richardson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing

The resource was originally created by NHS in Greater Glasgow and Clyde and has been used by different local authorities across the country before being adopted by the council’s Quit Ready and Healthy Schools teams to roll the initiative out across Leicestershire. 

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