Council plan to ban smoking in Sheffield’s child playgrounds

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Plans to stub out smoking in children’s playgrounds across Sheffield could be brought in after a consultation.

The scheme will ban cigarettes and E-cigarettes from children’s playgrounds - such as those located in parks or green spaces - across the city if proposals go ahead.

Rather than enforcement action, the project will work through a campaign and by putting up signs in playgrounds urging people not to smoke there.

So-called ‘smokefree playgrounds’ have already put into place in Liverpool and Leeds as part of a voluntary ban or ‘no smoking’ code.

The schemes aim to stop children from seeing people light up, and then taking up the habit, as part of preventative measures.

More than 1,500 people took part in a Sheffield consultation on the idea and the majority were said to be in favour.

Dr Stephen Horsley, interim director of public health for Sheffield, said: “We did this because we know that children are less likely to start smoking if they do not view it as part of everyday life.

“As smoking becomes less visible and less socially acceptable, it should reduce smoking uptake by young or new smokers.

“Three out of four children are aware of cigarettes before they reach the age of five, irrespective of whether or not their parents smoke.

“Making playgrounds smoke-free would help to combat this.”

The results of the consultation are now being examined.

Dr Horsley added: “If the proposals are taken forward then it will involve communicating with people - through a campaign and signs for example - rather than enforcement. This approach works well in other areas.”

Nationally, a new law on smoking in cars when children are present comes into force tomorrow, October 1.

Anyone caught smoking while an under-18 is present in a car could be fined £50 under the legislation.

It applies when a car is parked with the door open or when the smoker is smoking out of a window.