Children’s play areas in Leicester parks are to become smoke-free zones, as signs are being put up at all city council-run play areas across the city, asking people not to smoke.
The illustrative and colourful signs include information about the city council’s stop smoking service, which people can contact if they need help giving up. It follows the introduction of a voluntary non-smoking policy at play areas, in time for the school summer holidays.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Rory Palmer, who chairs the city’s health and wellbeing board said:
“We’re joining a number of councils up and down the country implementing this policy to encourage no smoking in children’s play areas.
“Children are influenced by what they see and research shows that young people are at most risk of becoming smokers if they grow up in communities where smoking is the norm.
“The most effective way to prevent young people from becoming smokers is to encourage adult smokers around them to quit.
“Making our play areas smoke-free is one way in which we can challenge the idea that smoking is a social norm, and hopefully prevent young people from taking up smoking.”
Cllr Piara Singh Clair, asst city mayor responsible for culture, leisure and sport added:
“We’re proud of our play areas across the city. As well as helping to reduce smoking, it’s hoped this policy will mean less litter from cigarette butts and packets in children’s play areas. Cigarette filters can take up to 12 years to biodegrade.”