Swansea have taken the bold step of banning smoking in their playgrounds to protect children from the harm of second hand smoke and the perception that smoking is a harmless activity.
The official launch will take place on Friday 6th June, 2.30pm at The Phoenix Centre Playground, Powys Avenue, Townhill with school children who have helped campaign for smokefree play areas and designed their own signs. The launch will coincide with Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot who are set to launch on the 14th and have been working on this initiative together.
A survey by Yougov in 2013 for ASH Wales revealed that 77% of Welsh adults now believe that smoking should be banned in areas where children play. Currently 11 out of 22 local authorities have smokefree playgrounds in their area – this is due to expand to 17 by the end of 2013.
Elen de Lacy, Chief Executive of ASH Wales, welcomed the launch of the smokefree playground initiative in Swansea and praised the partnership working of all the agencies involved:
"It is excellent news that playgrounds across Swansea will now be safer environments for children as a result of this decision to make play areas smoke-free. Children and young people have a right to play and meet with their friends in a clean environment, free not only from the dangers of second hand smoke but also cigarette litter. We hope that members of the public will help enforce the ban and bring about a change of attitudes towards smoking around young people. We want to see smoking banned in every play area in Wales and we urge other councils to follow their lead."