Smoke Free PlaygroundAdults are being asked to remember this summer that County Durham’s children’s play areas are smoke free.

With the school holidays now here, members of the public are reminded to follow the voluntary code and not light up near youngsters.

Councillor Lucy Hovvels, Durham County Council’s cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “One of our key priorities is preventing children from becoming smokers in the future.

“Although the code is voluntary, we hope the public will continue to support it to help protect the health of our children.”

The Smokefree County Durham Tobacco Alliance asked the council to introduce the measure in an effort to reduce children’s exposure to smoking and make it less socially acceptable, so that children are less likely to take up the habit themselves.

Children are most at risk of becoming smokers if they grow up in communities where smoking is the norm and making our play areas smoke free is one way of reducing the opportunities for children to see adults smoking around them.

Following a public consultation, in March 2015 the authority introduced a voluntary code making play areas in parks smoke free and placed signs in and around each play area as a polite reminder to adults not to light up.

A recent follow up survey found an overwhelming 99% of members of the public agreed with the move.

For information about the help available in County Durham to quit smoking visit http://ow.ly/ufO9302E7PF