3 April 2012
As part of the campaign to highlight the hidden dangers of children breathing in secondhand smoke, chief medical officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, visited the Trust's respiratory biomedical research unit (BRU) on March 29 to see how specialist tests are carried out to identify children who have been subjected to passive smoking in the home and/or car.
BRU manager Tracy Higgins showed Dame Sally around the research unit and principal biochemist, Jackie Donovan, demonstrated a simple test which is used to show if children have been exposed to secondhand smoke. Dame Sally also met Dr Ian Balfour-Lynn, consultant in paediatric respiratory medicine, who discussed the Trust’s groundbreaking research into cystic fibrosis as part of the UK Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Consortium.
Nia Voase, clinical research facility manager, said: "Dame Sally leads the National Institute for Health Research, which funded the BRU so it was a fantastic opportunity to show her the unit. She seemed really impressed with our research programme and with the facilities we have here."
Professor Dame Sally Davies commented: "Encouraging people to make their homes and cars smokefree is crucial if we are to reduce the serious impact secondhand smoke has on children. I was extremely grateful to colleagues at Royal Brompton for opening up their impressive research facilities to help us launch this important new campaign."
On Saturday, the Department of Health launched the campaign, which aims to encourage smoke-free homes and cars in England and to increase the number of smokers trying to quit. TV and radio advertisements will run until 31 May. For more information on the campaign visit the smokefree website