A NEW recruit in the campaign to protect children from second hand smoke has been unveiled to call on parents to keep kids safe.

The British Lung Foundation is warning of the dangers of second hand smoke and have a new teddy bear character, Big Tiny, to help get the message across.

Big Tiny was met at a teddy bears' picnic at a family centre in Yoker by Public Health Minister Michael Matheson, who backed the campaign.

Mr Matheson said: "Many smokers believe that by opening the window or standing at the back door they're protecting their children. All the research tells us that isn't the case. So the message to smokers is clear, for your children's sake, take it right outside."

The campaign warns that children who are exposed to tobacco smoke have a higher risk of diseases like meningitis, glue ear, asthma and cot death.

The British Lung Foundation warn smoke is worse for children, because of their developing lungs, than for adults.

Dr James Cant, head of the British Lung Foundation said: "Second hand smoke is dangerous for everyone, but especially for children.

"Most parents want to do the right thing and keep their kids safe, but many just don't know how bad smoke is. It can get through doors and up stairs, and can linger in your house for more than five hours even with the window open."