School gates are a key area where young people congregate daily, are influenced by adults around them and are affected by smoking.
Like our hugely successful smokefree playgrounds campaign, smokefree school gates involves a voluntary ban coupled with signage and a public awareness campaign. Wrexham was the first Local Authority in Wales to implement the ban with signage provided by ourselves. Many other councils such as Swansea and Ceredigion have now followed suit.
Research has found that children exposed to smoking are significantly more likely to start smoking themselves1. Children with two parents who smoke are three times more likely to take up the habit. Children with one parent who smoked were further found to be 70% more likely to start smoking. It is also known that two thirds of now-adult smokers took up smoking before the age of 182.
We know from opinion polls that public support for smokefree spaces in Wales is high. We have good links with public health representatives in other countries who have been actively involved in campaigning for and developing smokefree spaces.
Working with local authorities we are further developing smokefree policies that will protect young people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. There is also clear evidence that young people are influenced by seeing adults smoke.
- If you are interested in campaigning for smokefree school gates near you, please contact us
In July 2017, the Public Health Wales Act was passed by the Welsh Government. Included in this Act is the measure to ban smoking in school grounds, thereby making it against the law to smoke in the grounds of a school being used for the purpose of education or childcare.
We've designed a toolkit for schools to support them in implementing smokefree gates at their institution.
The toolkit includes:
- Letters to parents / guardians
- Template policy
- Lesson plans
1 Leonardi-Bee J, Jere ML, Britton J. Exposure to parental and sibling smoking and the risk of smoking uptake in childhood and adolescence: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 2011
2 Young People and Smoking. ASH England. July 2014