What is World No Tobacco Day?
Today is World No Tobacco Day (WNTD). This annual campaign sets out to raise awareness on the harmful and deadly effects of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure as well as discouraging the use of tobacco in any form. Could today be the start of your journey to becoming a non-smoker?
There are many excellent reasons for you to stop smoking, including your health (from cancer to chronic respiratory diseases), saving some cash and most importantly: protecting your family. Thankfully, within the UK, there is so much free support available to help people quit smoking.
Our Policy at Adopters for Adoption
One of the hurdles we encounter during the application process at Adopters for Adoption is from potential adopters who are smokers themselves or live with a smoker.
Our policy follows the BAAF regulations that no child under the age of 5 can be placed in a home with an active smoker. However, smoking won’t necessarily rule you out from adopting completely. Careful consideration will be given to understanding the health risks to you or to the children who may be placed with you. In order to adopt a child under 5 years old or a child with a disability, you will need to have given up smoking for at least six months before making an application to adopt so that by the time you reach your panel decision date you will have been a non-smoker for at least one year.
We have provided information regarding this on the FAQs page of our website.
But why are we so strict on this? Here are just some of the reasons:
As an adult, if you don’t want to be around a smoking environment, you can move away. Children, especially younger children, spend most of their time with their carers and do not have the same choice to move away. Your child will spend most of their time in close proximity to you and will therefore have no choice but to inhale the dangerous second hand smoke.
Children are constantly growing and developing and their immune systems are not yet at their full potential. The danger of smoke inhalation means an increased risk of illness and infection. Did you know that in the UK, 17,000 children under the age of 5 are admitted to hospital every year with health problems as a result of passive smoking?
Another known fact is that children like to mimic actions of adults. Children that are from a smoking household are three times more likely become smokers themselves. Children growing up around smokers will view this habit as ‘the norm’. So, even if you tell us that you only smoke socially, it’s still a no.
It’s unfortunate to say that even if you are happy to adopt a child over the age of 5 years old, when it comes to family finding the Local Authorities may still prefer to place a child within a smoke free home.
Although many children who are still with their birth families are in smoking environments, professionals in this field have a responsibility to ensure that Looked After Children are placed with the best carers possible. Most adoptive children have been through so much in their lives already, it’s only right that their adoptive families look after them and their health to the best of their ability.
What to do now?
If you’re looking to quit smoking in order to adopt, make sure you take advantage of your local stop smoking service. We wish you luck and hope that you quit for good – so that you are able to take your next steps in your adoption journey.