Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry parents urged not to smoke in parks

Woman smoking a cigarette
Image caption Coventry parents are urged not to light cigarettes in the city's play areas

Parents are being asked to stop smoking while watching their children play in parks in Coventry.

Members of the Smokefree Alliance want to cut the amount of second-hand smoke that children inhale.

Parents will be urged to stop through a campaign of signs, posters and leaflets but said it was unable to impose an outright ban.

Pro-smoking campaigners claim the alliance is "trying to denormalise a legal activity".

The council-led group also includes members of health services.

As it has no powers to impose a ban on smoking outdoors the group stressed that the move was simply to "encourage" parents to stop.

'Encouraging adults'

Councillor Joe Clifford, who is leading the alliance, said research had shown the "vast majority of parents" would back the move.

"The campaign is about encouraging adults not to smoke in areas where children are playing," he said.

"National evidence shows us that the more that children see smoking when they are young, the more likely it is they will grow up to be smokers themselves."

Simon Clark, from pro-smoking group Forest, said: "Children are in no danger from people smoking in the open air and it is not the council's job to 'protect' children from the sight of someone smoking.

"Most adult smokers don't light up in children's play areas, just as they don't smoke in cars carrying children."

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