A NEW campaign telling parents the dangers of smoking in their homes is being launched in Scotland.

An advert stressing that harmful chemicals linger in the air up to five hours after cigarettes have been put out has been released as part of the drive which aims to spare 50,000 children from second-hand smoke.

Children's immune syst-ems are not fully developed and they breathe quicker than adults, affecting their risks from passive smoking.

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Dr Sean Semple, of the University of Aberdeen, helped to inform the camp-aign. He said: "Our research group has measured pollution levels in more than 100 homes across Scotland. Smoking homes have very high concentrations of fine particles that tend to be much higher than the worst pollution on even the busiest roads in Scotland.

"Second-hand smoke also lingers for a long time."

In a UK first, the Scottish Government has set a target to reduce the proportion of children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home from 12% to 6% by 2020.

Minister for Public Health Michael Matheson said: "This campaign isn't about a person's choice to smoke, it's about people who smoke having the facts so they can smoke in a way that doesn't harm their children."