Barnsley takes a major step towards its smoke-free future with park’s total tobacco ban
Barnsley has its first smoke free public park after Elsecar’s award-winning facility signed up to the council’s campaign to make the habit invisible to a growing generation.
The town already has a network of smoke free zones, including the fountains area outside the Town Hall, a network of schools, the general hospital and play areas, including that within Elsecar Park, where the request has been well supported by the public.
Now the exclusion – which works on a voluntary basis, relying on co-operation from visitors – has been extended to the full park, making it the first in Barnsley where there should be no sign of smokers when families visit.
It is also hoped the change will cut down on littering, by removing smoking materials being dropped by users.
Coun Mick Stowe, who represents the Hoyland Milton ward, announced the new status at a ceremony in the park and said: “We ask that residents and visitors support this work by not smoking anywhere in the park.
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“Our vision is to see a new generation of children born and raised in an environment free of tobacco, where smoking is unusual.
“Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death,” he said.
Barnsley Council has a service to help people stop smoking and work by its public health officers has been successful in recent years, helping to reduce smoking rates among the population more quickly than regional and national averages – though the town started from a position of high numbers of smokers.
“Smoke free Barnsley is not just an aspiration, it is where we are going to end up,” said Coun Stowe.