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Sinister Tactics From Health Service

Monday, January 26th, 2009 Sinister Tactics From Health Service

A topical subject covered by Martin Beckford of the Telegraph (24 01 09) relating to sinister undertones used by the health service. Toddlers are being urged to encourage their parents to quit smoking.

Moreover, it has been established that anti-smoking advisors are going into nursery schools for the first time to give children as young as three lectures on the evils of cigarettes.

These infants are also being shown dolls that demonstrate how the lungs of smokers and non-smokers differ, then handing them NHS leaflets and questionnaires to take home for their parents.

From a common sense approach, This is absolutely unethical and should cease with immediate effect, this is scaremongering at it’s worst level with reference to young children.

Colchester and Tendring NHS Stop Smoking Service in Essex defend their stance by saying, “it is a good way to get an important health message across, and insists it is done “delicately and tactfully”.

In contrast however, critics have claimed that the children will inevitably be scared if they are warned that the health of their mother or father could be at risk, and say it is wrong for the state to intrude on pre-school education. One needs to question, has the nanny state gone to far?

Notwithstanding, this same NHS trust has also been accused of wasting tax payers money on bribes. Pregnant women are being offered £100 to kick the habit.

Conservative MP for Harwich and Clacton, Douglas Carswell states, ” This is a sinister attempt by state officials to frighten small children into getting their parents to quit smoking.

“The health service should spend our money providing folk with the treatment they need – not intruding into the private relations between mum and dad and their nursery-class kids.”

He added: “I think it would be very frightening if you were a small child and a state officer visited your playgroup and frightened you into what could happen to mum or dad because of their smoking.”

Furthermore, official figures have been released this week confirming that fewer people now smoke than ever before, with just 21 per cent of adults now lighting up as the smoking ban in public places and ever more graphic warnings on cigarette packets drive many to quit.

It is also no surprise that rates remain higher among the young and the working-classes, this is generally because middle and upper classes access better health care. However, the authorities need to come up with new ways of reaching those who still smoke, without bullying tactics.

So far the Essex service has given “pre-school smoking education sessions” at the Kiddi Caru Nursery in Colchester and the Little Pals Neighbourhood Nursery in Clacton-on-Sea.

In addition, it is giving pregnant women £20 in Co-Op vouchers if they stop smoking for a week, another £40 after a month and a further £40 if they give up for a year.

Emma Ferdinand, Specialist Stop Smoking Adviser for Young People, said: “More than 40 per cent of children live in a household with at least one smoker and children of smokers are more than twice as likely to start smoking. Our aim is to target parents by providing leaflets via the children on the effects of passive smoking and, as importantly, providing information on how to access the Colchester and Tendring NHS Stop Smoking Service if any parents decide they want to stop smoking.”

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