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Smoke free play areas

Local children will be bringing a breath of fresh air to their playtime from 7 August 2019, as they help launch a pioneering project to make 17 of Ryedale’s play areas smoke free, as part of the Council’s campaign to inspire a smoke-free generation, with support from North Yorkshire County Council’s (NYCC) Smokefree Places Fund.

As part of a series of summer art roadshows - starting on National Play Day on Wednesday 7 August, in Norton’s Riverside View play area, which recently benefitted from a £25,000 refurbishment – children will be showing how their outdoor play areas should be places to light the imagination, not cigarettes, as they decorate them with colourful nature mosaics and intricate ‘lung-tree’ illustrations.

Meanwhile, each play area will be signposted as ‘smoke free’, designed to make people think twice about smoking harmful cigarettes close to children’s play areas, and to empower local families to demand a smoke-free environment of fresh, clean air.

Lung treeFree and open to all, the summer roadshows, which run from 10.30 – 12.30 each morning, will visit four newly-designated smoke-free play areas in Ryedale following its launch at Riverside View Play Area, Norton.

  • Manor Drive in Pickering on 16 August
  • Rainbow Lane in Malton on 17 August
  • Old Road, Kirkbymoorside on 22 August
  • Swinton Play Area on 28 August

Poster for the events (PDF, 1 page 344kb)

Rosie Goodwin, a local artist accredited by the Children’s University, will be hand to help families create their masterpieces (photo shows Lung Tree art c Rosie Goodwin).

“Ryedale will be one of the first regions in North Yorkshire to introduce smoke-free play areas, but they’re potentially a lifeline for our young people. Sadly, Ryedale has the third-highest number of deaths from smoking in North Yorkshire and our children are particularly at risk,” explains Councillor Michael Cleary, Ryedale District Council Member Champion for Sport. “Their bodies are still developing, so they are much more vulnerable to the harmful effects of secondhand smoking; but research shows that they’re also much more likely to take up smoking themselves if they see adults and carers with cigarettes as though it’s normal or OK – and indeed, 80% of UK smokers start smoking before the age of 20.

Cllr Cleary adds: “Play areas are supposed to be fun and healthy places for our children, spaces where they can enjoy being active, outdoors in the fresh air. As local communities, we have to pull together to protect these precious ‘clean air’ places for our children, and to reduce the likelihood that young people will start smoking in the first place. This campaign is the first step towards achieving this.”

County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, NYCC executive member for public health, prevention and supported housing said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Ryedale’s smoke-free campaign, a major step in North Yorkshire achieving the national target set by campaign Breathe 25 ‘to see the next generation of children born and raised in a place free from tobacco, where smoking is unusual.’ The smoke-free play areas will have a significant impact on the lives of local children, helping set a positive role model and inspire a healthy lifestyle. We’re also working hard to support smokers who want to quit: smoking still kills nearly 1,000 people every year in North Yorkshire, and while we want to reduce the likelihood of North Yorkshire’s children and young people taking up smoking themselves, we also want to help local people who want to stop smoking for good.”

Ryedale’s play areas are amongst a growing number of smoke-free places, from sports clubs to beaches and to town squares, being introduced across North Yorkshire and England to help encourage a smoke-free lifestyle. Receiving huge public support, these initiatives - fuelled by legislation such as the UK ban on smoking in enclosed work and public spaces in 2007 - are proven to have a positive impact on people’s lives, including reducing heart attacks and childhood asthma, according to Action for Smoking and Health.

Our smoke-free play areas project is supported by North Yorkshire Public Health’s Smokefree Places Fund, and is part of the national Breathe 2025 campaign. The County Council has also recently launched a new service to help smokers who wish to stop, find out more at Living Well, Smokefree.

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Ryedale District Council
Ryedale House
Old Malton Road
Malton, North Yorkshire
YO17 7HH

Email: Contact the Council

Phone: 01653 600666

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