Playgrounds in the Derbyshire Dales go smoke-free

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Children are having a say in encouraging adults not to smoke in play areas across the Derbyshire Dales.

In a joint initiative with Derbyshire Action on Smoking, Derbyshire Dales District Council – which operates large play areas in Ashbourne, Bakewell and Matlock – will be displaying ‘no-smoking’ signs designed by local schoolchildren.

Derbyshire Dales District Council environmental health officer Karen Carpenter said: “We are delighted to be the first District Council in Derbyshire to try this approach. While we don’t have the power to make our parks smoke-free, we believe adults are more likely to take heed of an appeal that is coming to them direct from young people.

“We will be monitoring the impact of the new signage in our major parks with an eye on the possibility of rolling out the campaign to the many other play areas the District Council maintains in the Derbyshire Dales.”

Evidence shows that a child is three times more likely to become a smoker if they grow up in a household with parents who smoke. Suzanne Deakin, local resident and mum to Callum (pictured) said: “I used to be a smoker myself and stopped because of my son. I think the scheme is very positive and I hope people will respect it.”

Robert Taylour, Head of Derbyshire Trading Standards and Chair of Derbyshire Action on Smoking said: “Second-hand smoke is harmful and we have been supporting the smoke free homes and cars project encouraging people not to smoke in front of their children and to make their homes and cars smoke free.

“Smoke free playgrounds build on this message by further reducing children’s exposure to smoking and second-hand smoke. Derbyshire Dales District Council is the first council in Derbyshire to take these steps to encourage children’s playgrounds to be smoke free and we hope that other councils will follow suit.”

Tina Jones, Head of Derbyshire County NHS Stop Smoking Service said: “We fully support the smoke free play areas initiative. Our work has involved helping people keep their homes and cars smoke free and going into schools to talk to children about their attitudes to smoking. Play areas should be the ultimate child-focus places so helping to keep them smoke free is to be applauded.”

For free NHS advice on keeping your home smoke free or for help and advice to stop smoking please call Derbyshire County NHS Stop Smoking Service on 0800 085 2299 (free from a landline) or 01246 868425 or visit www.dchs.nhs.uk/your_health_useful_info/derbyshire_county_stop_smoking.