Local authorities should ban smoking in areas where children play or learn, environmental health professionals urge.
The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has called for parks to be made into ‘no smoking zones’ in order to protect children’s health and reduce the perception among young people that smoking is normal behaviour.
In 2007 smoking was prohibited in all enclosed and virtually enclosed work and public places throughout the UK. The CIEH would like to see this extended to open spaces, such as children’s play areas.
The CIEH, a membership body for Environmental Health Professionals (EHPs), also commissioned a YouGov survey which revealed 89% of adults would support a smoking ban in children’s play areas and 57% would support a smoking ban in public parks.
‘It is abundantly clear that the vast majority of people would support restrictions on smoking in children’s play areas,’ said chief executive of CIEH, Anne Godfrey.
‘We would like to see smoking being stubbed out wherever children play or learn. This would not only include children’s playgrounds but could see no smoking zones extended to public parks, zoos and theme parks.
‘Children should be able to have fun and enjoy themselves without seeing someone smoking and thinking this is normal behaviour.’
Brighton and Hove Council was one of the first to ban smoking from parks and beaches.