On the agenda - Cost of passive smoking to kids

In a nutshell Passive smoking is responsible for 40 sudden infant deaths each year, according to a new report. Passive Smoking and Children was launched by the Tobacco Advisory Group of the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) last week. It found two million children currently live in a household where they are exposed to cigarette smoke.

New research: Smoking
New research: Smoking

- Any more details?

The report, which was also funded by Cancer Research UK, found passive smoking causes 200 cases of bacterial meningitis and at least 22,000 new cases of wheezing and asthma every year. Each year, these cases generate more than 300,000 GP consultations and cost the NHS about £23.3m.

- What does the report suggest?

The report makes strong policy recommendations. It says the most effective means of protecting children from passive smoking is to reduce the prevalence of smoking in adults. It suggests mass media campaigns, advice and support from health professionals.

- PR strategy

The Times was given the story as an exclusive, before it was press released out. The in-house team at RCP was led by press and PR manager Linda Cuthbertson.

- Media coverage

The Times ran with an open letter from the RCP last Wednesday and covered the story on its front page.

BBC Breakfast, GMTV, Sky News, Radio Five Live and the Today programme also covered the story.

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