Toddlers are being told to encourage their parents to quit smoking in a "sinister" move by health service officials.I'll say it's sinister...!
Anti-smoking advisors are going into nurseries for the first time to give children as young as three lectures on the evils of cigarettes.Well, of course they do. The fact that they see nothing whatsover wrong with lecturing and hectoring children (of three, for God's sake!) to get at their recalcitrant parents shows exactly what the state thinks of the people who pay its wages.
They are showing them 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.
Colchester and Tendring NHS Stop Smoking Service in Essex believes it is a good way to get an important health message across, and insists it is done "delicately and tactfully".
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.So if you live in Essex and send your kids to those two nurseries, you can expect tears before bedtime should you spark up tonight. And maybe even if you don't smoke, if your kids have had the bejeesus frightened out of them by those dolls that 'demonstrate how the lungs of smokers and non-smokers differ' (wonder if they are made by the same company that makes the 'anatomically correct' dolls so beloved of child abuse witchhunters..?).
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."There's a name for people who target children because they find that adults are too intelligent or too stubborn to fall for their claptrap, Emma.
Still, I'm sure we can expect the usual suspects who whine at McDonald's and Coca-Cola's 'malign influence on children' to be up in arms about this, can't we?