Oxford City Council has rolled out a voluntary smoking ban across its 80 children’s play areas in Oxford.
The City Council ran a three-month trial – between July and September 2016 – of the voluntary smoking ban in three play areas: Cutteslowe Park, Florence Park and Sandfield Road.
During the trial, the City Council carried out a consultation with Oxford residents and park users to discover their views on the voluntary ban.
The consultation found that 71.0 per cent either agreed or strongly agreed that the voluntary ban had improved the play experience for them and their children.
It also found that 87.6 per cent either agreed or strongly agreed that they would like to see a permanent voluntary smoking ban across all the City Council’s play areas.
The voluntary smoking ban has now been rolled out across all the City Council’s 80 play areas.
Signs explaining the voluntary ban have been installed across the play areas over the last two weeks (from 3 April).
The ban will only be voluntary, but it is hoped it will be enough to encourage people to leave the play area before smoking.
ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), in its 2014 report Impact of Secondhand smoke on Children, found that children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of second hand smoke exposure.
The report found that second hand smoke had been linked to an increased risk of a range of illnesses for children, including asthma, sudden unexpected death in infancy and invasive meningococcal disease.
Ian Brooke, Head of Community Services, said: “The voluntary smoking ban trial was well received and we have now extended it across the City Council’s 80 play areas.
“Second hand smoke can have a serious impact on the health, and we want to make sure that children do not suffer from this in our facilities.”