Cumbria children play areas to become smoke free
Last updated at 11:11, Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Children's play areas across Cumbria could soon be designated as smokefree areas.
Cumbria's Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) met last week and heard how smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable death in Cumbria.
Smoking was selected as a key theme for the HWB's strategy for several reasons - it contributes to inequalities as we know that smoking rates are higher in deprived areas, and it's also a major cause of many long term conditions such as heart disease and strokes which affect quality of life and use of health and social services.
Members of the HWB – which is chaired by Cumbria County Council's cabinet member for Adult and Local Services, Cllr Beth Furneaux – agreed to seek support from all district councils and housing providers to make play areas no smoking areas and put up appropriate signage.
Cllr Furneaux said: "This is an important step in reducing smoking rates. This should be seen as 'nipping the problem in the bud' instead of dealing with the smoking issue once it's already taken hold.
"We're concentrating on smoking for one very good reason – it is still the number one source of premature deaths in deprived areas and I want us to do all we can to stop that."
Cumbria County Councillor Patricia Bell, Cabinet member for Public Heath, said: "This could play a significant role in improving the health of our future generations.
"We do have a problem with high numbers of smokers in some areas of the county. Smoking has become less visible over the last few years and a potential ban in play areas will prove to young people that their health is our priority."
National surveys have revealed that a ban on smoking has public support, including:
- 70% of people in Cumbria would support a ban on smoking in children’s play areas (NEMS Community Engagement Survey 2011).
- Three quarters of adults would support a ban on smoking in play areas (YouGov 2011). This includes the majority of smokers.
- Smoking is a childhood addiction with most young people trying their first cigarette at 13 years old or younger (TSNW Survey 2011).
- Through mimicking parental behaviour, children with smoking parents are three times more likely to become smokers than those with parents who are non-smokers (McNeill and Charlton 2003, ASH).
- 92% of both smokers and recent quitters believe that children have a right not to be exposed to SHS (NEMS Community Engagement Survey 2011).
The Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Board includes representatives from the NHS, district councils, Cumbria Association of Local Councils, the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, the third sector, and the county council.
First published at 11:04, Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
Wheezer do you drive? Or use a Bus? Probably do which means you've been the cause (along with millions of others) for poisoning young children's lungs! Although because its only a car or a bus or a lorry its okay!
Ban the above and also hypocrites.
Can you make all smoking areas child free as well please?
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