Nottingham City Council to make playgrounds 'smoke free'

A local authority has become the first in the East Midlands to introduce a no smoking policy at playgrounds and around its school gates.

Nottingham City Council said it wanted to protect children from the effects of smoking and reduce its uptake.

It added the policy was not enforceable by law, but wanted people to comply.

Pro-smoking group Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) said the plans were "heavy handed".

Smoking exposure

Councillor Eunice Campbell, from Nottingham City Council, said: "Parents do not want their children to be exposed to smoking or to take up the habit.

"We hope that they will support this initiative."

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: "It is not the business of a local council to tell adults how to behave.

"There is no evidence of a health risk to children from smoking in the open air."

No-smoking signs designed by children will be displayed in playgrounds maintained by Nottingham City Council from Tuesday.

The signs will also be available for primary schools in the Nottingham city area to display at their school gates.

Halton Borough Council in Cheshire, and Pendle Borough Council in Lancashire, were two of the first local authorities in the UK to adopt the smoke-free initiative at their playgrounds.

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