Smoking is one of the biggest threats to health in the UK, causing more than 25% of all cancer related deaths. But it is also the most preventable cause of cancer.

From 1st October 2015 it will be illegal to smoke in a car when there is an individual younger than 18 present. The law applies to any private vehicle that is enclosed wholly or partly by a roof. This law will be in force in England, but Scotland will also be considering enforcing the legislation in the near future.

It still applies if people have the windows or sunroof open, have the air conditioning on, or if they sit in the open doorway of the vehicle. The law doesn't apply to a convertible car with the roof completely down.

Stop Smoking - New Legislation, No smoking in Cars with Children Inforgraphic | Clear Chemist

Smoking causes immense damage to your body, and those around you. It is the direct cause of many serious health issues such as lung cancer and can lead to an increased likelihood of other serious health problems heart disease.

Passive smoke in children can increase the risk of asthma, meningitis and cot death, say public health experts.

While 80% of secondhand smoke maybe invisible, 100% of it is harmful. There is no acceptable level of secondhand smoke as it can damage your own and those around you.

Smoking affects many parts of the body. Let’s take a look at the two most affected - the heart and lungs.

Effects of smoking on the heart:

The toxins in cigarettes and secondhand smoke make your blood thicken and narrow your arteries, resulting in high blood pressure and an increased risk of blood clots. Smoking also has an impact on the levels of cholesterol in the blood, by reducing the amount of positive cholesterol (HDL) and increasing the potentially negative cholesterol (LDL).

This can increase the risk of high blood pressure and clotting of the blood. Some of the main chemicals ingested through smoking - nicotine and carbon monoxide - replace some of the oxygen in the blood and put unnecessary stress on the heart.

This results in an increased risk of serious health problems such as heart attacks, coronary heart disease and cardiac arrhythmia.

Effects of smoking on the lungs:

Enormous damage is done to the lungs. Narrowing of the bronchi - the main airway passage in to the lungs - and narrowing of arteries increases the risk of emphysema and lung cancer. Further damage is done by the tar which remains in the lungs and increases the likelihood of chronic obstructive lung disease. The inhalation of carbon monoxide means less oxygen is being absorbed by the lungs.

Due to the effect of smoking on the cardiovascular system; the body’s ability to deal with these chemicals is compromised because of the significantly lower levels of oxygen in the blood.

As children breathe more rapidly and have not fully developed their lungs, they are at a higher risk of developing serious health conditions.

Now with Stoptober just weeks away and with one less place you can smoke you have more reasons than ever to stop smoking and improve your own health and that of those around you.

For more information on the smoking legislations in the UK click here to view the government report.