Smoking could be banned in Sheffield's public parks

Olivia Hepworth with councillor Mary Lea at the launch of the smoking ban in playgrounds at High Hazels Park in Darnall.
Olivia Hepworth with councillor Mary Lea at the launch of the smoking ban in playgrounds at High Hazels Park in Darnall.

Smoking could be banned in all of Sheffield's 80 public parks.

Sheffield Council launched a campaign last year to ban cigarettes from the city's 152 playgrounds and the authority is now looking at ways to increase the number of outdoor smoke-free zones.

Council leaders said that while making public spaces - such as Endcliffe Park, Hillsborough Park and Graves Park - non-smoking is not on the table at the moment, they accepted it could become a reality 'in the future'.

The move is all part of a mayor council-led campaign aimed at boosting public health.

Councillor Mary Lea, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure, said: “Our vision is to create a smoke-free city where people live longer and healthier lives, where children think smoking is unusual, and where young people don’t take up smoking in the first place.

“That’s why we introduced our smoke-free playground policy and also why we’re driving the message out there with our ‘You Can Leave Your Patch On’ media campaign.

“We are currently looking at the possibility of increasing the number of outdoor smoke-free sites and events, and in the future this might include parks, although at present this is not something we’re specifically considering.”

A council spokeswoman said there will be more specific details on the idea, such as what action smokers could face, in a paper that is due to be presented to cabinet on Wednesday, February 15.

She added these details, along with the results of the authority's six-week long consultation on their vision for a 'smoke-free city', will be available for the public to read from the week commencing Monday, February 6.

The council's Tobacco Control Strategy, which will run from 2017 to 2022, aims to introduce a number of schemes, such as banning sparking up in some public areas, aimed at reducing smoking.

Figures show there are around 79,200 people who smoke in Sheffield – and tobacco kills about 16 people a week.

The council's budget for tobacco control is £1.1 million and the authority is proposing to move £220,000 from stop smoking services into prevention work, which would focus on warning school children about the dangers of smoking.

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