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Smoke Free Playgrounds Launched

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Smoke Free Newcastle is introducing new ‘smoke free’ signs in all outdoor children’s playgrounds across the city from No Smoking Day (9 March). The project aims to support parents and carers to be positive role models to their children and is a polite request for adults to voluntarily refrain from smoking in and around playgrounds.

The signs follow a local survey conducted by Smoke Free Newcastle, which revealed that smoke free playgrounds are popular with the public. 87% of parents and carers asked supported their introduction, including 76% of the smokers surveyed.

Children and parents from the Newcastle Action for Parent and Toddler Groups (NAPI), helped Councillor Jane Streather, Lead for Public Health and Housing and Chair of Smoke Free Newcastle with Prof Eugene Milne, Director of Public Health, Newcastle City Council, launch the new signs at the Gala Fields playground in Newbiggin Hall.

Speaking at the launch Councillor Streather said;

“I am delighted to launch smoke free playgrounds in Newcastle to encourage parents and carers to role model healthy behaviour to their children and help to improve the environment of the city’s play areas”

Professor Eugene Milne added;

“Making children’s playgrounds smoke free is not only popular with the public but it will help create an environment where smoking is not seen as the norm. The more children see adults smoking, the more they are likely to become smokers – we want to try and break that link for the sake of their future health.”

Smoking remains the most preventable form of early death and disease in Newcastle. Whilst rates have dropped considerably over recent years, those who take-up smoking tend to do so before the age of 18 years. Children become aware of cigarettes at an early age; 3 out of 4 children are aware of cigarettes before they reach the age of 5 years old. The introduction of smoke free outdoor children’s playgrounds will help to contribute to Newcastle’s vision to reduce adult smoking prevalence to 5% by 2030.

For any smokers wishing to quit free, friendly, confidential support is on offer from the Newcastle Stop Smoking Service. They can be contacted on Tel: 0191 269 1103, Email stopsmoking.newcastle@lifeline.org.uk or on Twitter @Quit_Newcastle