Your Stories

If you have decided to smoke outside to help protect your children and would like to share your story, please send an email with a photo or a short video to

Julie Mellor - Rochdale

Julie Mellor is married to a local milkman and both are smokers. They live with their twelve year old daughter and two year old son in Rossendale Valley, Lancashire.

Whilst pregnant with her youngest child she gave up smoking having become aware of the risks to her unborn baby. When the baby was born she began smoking again but still aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke and the effects on the baby, she refused to smoke in the same room as him.

Julie signed up their home to the Smoke Free Homes scheme while attending a fun day at The Maden Community and Children's Centre in Bacup.

Julie said: "I would do anything to protect the health of my children; I'm just sorry I started smoking again after my son was born."

Sue Kilshaw – Widnes

Sue Kilshaw from Widnes lives with her husband and two children aged 13 and 6. She said that she’s never smoked in the house because of the kids.

Her view is that "the kids haven’t chosen to smoke, so why should they smell of it?"

Jo McLeish - Stockport

Jo lives in Stockport with her two sons, aged 11 and 12. Her youngest son has asthma, so for his benefit, and for his brother’s benefit too, she decided to stop smoking in the home.

She also displayed Smokefree Home stickers around the house and got rid of all the ashtrays inside to remind her, and encourage others, to take their smoke right outside.

Jo shared some of her top tips with us:

- Get rid of your ashtrays

- Put your lighters in the shed

- "Take it outside like I do!"

Phil Clapperton – Failsworth, Manchester

Phil is a taxi driver and single dad. When discovering his previous wife was pregnant, he made sure he started smoking outside of the house to help protect the baby.

His daughter is now 2, but he still continues to only smoke outside. To help encourage him, Phil built a shed in the garden so that he can still smoke outside even if it’s cold or raining.

Phil told us:

- He smokes a lot less with not smoking in the house

- "People have to think about their kids"

Paul Wain – Manchester

Paul has two children, aged 3 and 6, and lives with his family in Manchester.

Once he became a dad, he took the decision to not smoke in the home. He felt that this would be the only way to try to help protect his children from the harm that secondhand smoke can cause.

His view is that it’s the parent’s choice to smoke, not the child’s choice – it’s unfair making children breathe in secondhand smoke.

Paul says:

- "I've cut down 50% since smoking outside"