Torfaen playgrounds to be smoke-free
5:49am Wednesday 12th March 2014 in News
Members of Torfaen Young Peoples Forum Dwayne Way and Sammy Locke kick smoking out of Torfaen's playgrounds (4430181)
PLAYGROUNDS in Torfaen are to become smoke-free, after a campaign by Torfaen Young People’s Forum.
Forum members are celebrating No Smoking Day today with the news that all 42 playgrounds will be smoke-free, following support from the local authority.
Made up of young people aged 11 to 25, it has been calling for a ban on smoking in playgrounds since learning that 14,000 children start smoking every year in Wales, and 15 people in the country die every day from a smoking related disease.
It carried out a survey of young people in Torfaen and an overwhelming 136 of the 145 who responded said they thought a ban was a good idea.
A representative of the forum said: “It will help to protect children from harmful second-hand smoke and also cut down on the amount of litter dropped.
“Most importantly we hope it will send a message to young people that smoking is not a harmless activity and can have a serious effect on your health.”
Councillor John Cunningham, Torfaen’s executive member for neighbourhood services, said: “We know children are at particular risk from second-hand smoke and that they are also more likely to start smoking themselves if they see adults doing it in a family friendly environment. It is vital that we de-normalise smoking to reduce the rates of young people taking it up and also reduce their exposure to smoke in areas where they gather.
“The young people’s forum made a very strong case for smoking to be banned in playgrounds and they must be applauded for their hard work.”
The forum has also been working with schools on a competition to design a no-smoking poster. The winner will see their design go up in playgrounds across Torfaen.
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