Smoking ‘ban’ could be extended to gates of Norwich schools

A voluntary smoking ban in playgrounds could be extended to Norwich school gates. Pic: Jonathan Brad

A voluntary smoking ban in playgrounds could be extended to Norwich school gates. Pic: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Smoking could be 'banned' at the gates of schools and children's centres around Norwich, if a scheme encouraging people to stub it out near play areas in parks is deemed a success.

The voluntary ban on smoking at 85 Norwich play areas was introduced in the summer, as part of a Healthy Norwich initiative devised by health chiefs and councils.

And Norwich City Council has now revealed that the 'ban' could be extended next year, when councillors could be asked to consider extending it.

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said: 'We will be evaluating the effects of the voluntary smoking ban near play areas in Norwich parks after 12 months of the project, and we will then consider the possibility of rolling the initiative out to schools and children centres, based on the evidence found.

'Smoking remains the biggest cause of preventable deaths in Norfolk. Children are influenced by what they see, and young people are most at risk of becoming smokers themselves if they grow up in communities where smoking is the norm.

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'The most effective way to prevent young people from becoming smokers is to encourage adult smokers to quit and to remove young people's exposure to smoking behaviours.

'Other councils across the country have found that making locations such as play parks, schools gates and children's centres smoke-free reduces the opportunity for children to see adults smoking around them.'

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When the play area 'ban' was mooted, Simon Clark, director of smokers' group Forest, said the proposal was 'very patronising' and said he feared a 'slippery slope' to it being extended to other public areas.

What do you think of the idea? Write, with full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email

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