Playground smoking ban backed
PLAYGROUNDS must become smoke-free to improve children’s long-term health, according to NHS North Somerset.
It has joined forces with North Somerset Council to introduce a voluntary smoking ban to protect youngsters. Almost three quarters of parents polled by NHS North Somerset supported the idea.
She said: “Children have the right to experience a smoke-free environment while enjoying leisure activities in the play areas around the district.”
The health body believes if fewer children get used to seeing smoking on a day-to-day basis, the chances of them wanting to take up the habit will decrease.
About 1,600 people quit smoking last year using the NHS North Somerset Stop Smoking Service and it is hoped this new ban will encourage more to follow suit.
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An estimated 300 people in North Somerset die each year as a result of smoking-related illnesses and life-long smokers tend to live 10 years less on average.
Ms Pollard said: “There’s strong recognition by the Government that children are entitled to be protected from second-hand smoke and adults should act on the advice to protect the health of children.
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“I hope this move will result in children being able to enjoy their activity outdoors in an environment free from tobacco smoke.”