NHS Fife has endorsed a charter for a tobacco-free generation amid startling statistics that show 700 people die every year in the region from a smoking-related illness.
Doctors are particularly concerned about the impact of smoking during pregnancy, with obstetric complications, stillbirth and low birth weight more common among mothers-to-be who smoke.
Anti-smoking campaign group ASH Scotland has drawn up a charter to cut smoking by 5% across Scotland over the next 18 years and this has been endorsed by NHS Fife.
It includes six key principles that organisations across the country are being asked to adhere to.
These include ensuring every baby is born free from the harmful effects of tobacco and that children should be able to play, learn and socialise in places that are smoke-free.
Educating children to equip them to make informed choices about tobacco and health is also on the agenda and any young person who smokes should be offered accessible support to help them quit.
Dr Margaret Hannah, NHS Fife’s director of public health, said the charter was in line with policy agreed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“What is concerning is the impact of smoking on pregnancy and obstetric complications,” she said.
“Children have a particular need for a smoke-free environment.
“They should play, learn and sleep in places free from tobacco.
“Along with these principles we need to show we are making a contribution to this.”
Dr Hannah said NHS Fife was already working on a number of initiatives aimed at protecting children and cutting smoking rates.
Prevention and education programmes have been introduced at primary and secondary schools and air check tests can be carried out in homes to show the level of pollution that stays in the air for up to five hours.
Midwives are also offering dedicated support to pregnant smokers and their partners to give up and there is another programme aimed specifically at teenagers.
Dr Hannah said NHS Fife would also be tackling smoking among its own staff members, particularly nurses.