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Smokefree playgrounds are a breath of fresh air for Islington

Islington Council has launched a new drive to make all Islington’s playgrounds smokefree, with a day of celebratory fun for children and young people.

Posters have been put up in playgrounds across Islington calling on parents not to smoke where children are playing. No smoking signs have been stenciled on to pathways leading up to the entrances to playgrounds and signs have been put up at the entrances to parks and play areas across the borough.

The drive was launched with a family fun day at King Square Gardens, EC1 on Thursday, 21 May following a successful pilot project last year.

The children and young people who attended the launch enjoyed circuit training with qualified instructors, themed games and activities, while free health checks and stop smoking advice for parents were also on offer.

Ninety-three per cent of park users said they were in favour of playgrounds being smokefree.

Islington Council’s executive member for environment Cllr Claudia Webbe, said: “We’re asking adults to do the responsible thing and avoid smoking in our parks, particularly in the areas where children and young people – who don’t have a choice about this - are playing.

"We are also extending this to include play areas on our Council housing estates.

"It is not right to make children breathe in second hand smoke and this drive is designed to reduce their exposure to it at a young age.

“We found smokers responded well during the pilot.

“Not only does it remove the normalisation of smoking, it will also cut the amount of litter that has to be removed from these play areas.

“We know we have Islington residents’ support for this initiative.”

The initiative comes ahead of new Government legislation coming into force in October, which will mean adults caught smoking in cars with children present will face £50 fines in a nationwide bid to combat the normalisation of smoking known to be factor in youngsters taking up the habit and protect children from second-hand smoke.

For help and advice on quitting smoking, call 0800 093 9030, or visit: www.smokefreeislington.nhs.uk

Notes to editors

Notes to editors:

Although parents will not be fined if they are seen smoking in Islington’s playgrounds, smokers were found to be receptive when approached by Islington’s park keepers and given advice during the pilot.

Photos:

Smokefree 1 - one-year-old Leah Begamen

Smokefree 3: - one-year-old Leah Begamen

Smokefree 4: - Shadiya Abdulah (no age given)

Smokefree 9 - 12-year-old Ashley Gordon

Smokefree 11, 12, and 20 group shots from the fun day

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