A campaign urging people to keep Hertsmere's play areas smoke free has launched with the unveiling of a new poster.
Young people from across the borough were invited to take part in a competition to design the poster aimed at promoting a voluntary smoking ban across all Hertsmere Borough Council-owned parks.
The winning creation by Summerswood Primary School (Borehamwood) pupil Ellen Hayes was unveiled at a presentation ceremony on Thursday 13 July at Aberford Park playground attended by councillors, officers and family members.
Also at the event were runners up Bella Radley and Olivia Mgbor, both from Ladbrooke JMI School in Potters Bar.
The poster will appear in parks across the borough with contact details for the Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service.
Hopes are the initiative, led by the council and supported by the Hertsmere Health and Wellbeing Partnership and NHS Hertfordshire, will discourage people from lighting up where children may be affected.
Breathing in second-hand smoke is particularly harmful for children. It can cause an increased risk of asthma, meningitis, respiratory conditions like bronchitis, coughs and colds, and cot death.
Councillor Caroline Clapper, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Culture and Health, said: “Our play areas are important places for children to enjoy themselves and get some exercise, which is why it’s vital they stay free of cigarette fumes.
“The smoking ban is voluntary, so though our officers won’t be enforcing it, we hope it will remind mums, dads and other adults, of the negative impact of smoking on their health and the health of their children.
“We also hope it will encourage people to take pride in their neighbourhood. Discarded cigarette butts can make an area look untidy and unloved. We need people to help us keep Hertsmere beautiful, healthy and thriving.”
Rushma Patel, Business Manager (Tobacco Control) Hertfordshire Health Improvement Service at Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service, said: “Children learn behaviour from adults and are three times more likely to take up smoking themselves if they grow up in a smoking household.
“By reducing their exposure to smoking and adult smokers as role models, we will be able to protect our children’s health and let them play outside in a healthy smoke free environment.”
Ellen's design was chosen from around 40 entries by Cllr Clapper. As her prize, 10-year-old Ellen won two family tickets to Willows Activity Farm, an A3 copy of her poster and a goody bag.
The runners up each received an A4 copy of their poster and goodie bags.
Stickers will also be going up encouraging visitors to stub out their cigarettes when in and around play areas.
If you need help to stop smoking you can get support from Hertfordshire Stop Smoking Service on 0800 389 3 998, or text SMOKEFREE to 80818. The service can offer advice and appointments with trained stop smoking advisors who offer effective behavioural advice and tips to manage cravings.
Posted on Friday 14th July 2017