‘We don’t want to breathe your second-hand smoke!’
This is the message from school children who are asking smokers in Liskeard to steer clear of a local play park from next week.
They have designed special signs emblazoned with the words: ‘Cigarettes are rubbish. Please don’t smoke in our play park’.
Castle Park will officially be launched as a smokefree park at a special event on Monday (July 24) between 11am and 1pm, and everyone is invited.
There will be a free bouncy castle, books, treasure hunt, music from Rewind Radio and other activities for all the family to enjoy.
Castle Park is the latest park managed by Cornwall Council to become a voluntary smokefree zone after similar launches in Bodmin, Hayle, Illogan, Launceston, Torpoint and Newquay.
The aim is to reduce the number of people smoking around children and raise awareness of the dangers of passive smoking.
Dr Ruth Goldstein, assistant director of public health at Cornwall Council, said:
“No child should have to breathe in second-hand smoke so it’s great that youngsters in Liskeard are sending a clear message to smokers about this.
“We know children exposed to smoking are significantly more likely to take up smoking themselves and this event aims to remind adult smokers of their role and responsibilities in creating smokefree environments for children.
“I would urge everyone to go along to the launch event on Monday and have lots of smokefree fun!”
When children breathe in second-hand smoke it can be especially harmful as they have less well-developed airways, lungs and immune systems compared to adults.
Exposure to second-hand smoke has been linked to an increased risk of a range of illnesses including lower respiratory tract infections, asthma, wheezing, and middle ear infections.
Cllr Dr Andy Virr, cabinet member for adults and public health at Cornwall Council, said:
“This is a great event with a really important message. It also builds on the work Healthy Cornwall have been doing with the Liskeard School & Community College this year and with primary schools in Liskeard, to tackle smoking and under-age vaping.
“I can’t overstate the impact that smoking can have on people’s health so the more we can do to stop children and young people taking up smoking the better.”
Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, cabinet member for children and families, added:
“It is one of our priorities at the Council to make Cornwall a brilliant place to be a child and grow up and that includes creating safe, smokefree spaces for them to play and have fun.
“I’m very proud of the children in Liskeard who are sending such a clear message that they don’t want to breathe in other people’s smoke. Hopefully every play park in Cornwall will be smokefree before long.”
Latest statistics by charity ASH show there are around 54,000 adult smokers in Cornwall who each spend more than £2,400 a year on the habit.
Press release issued on July 20, 2023.