Smokefree Summer

Published July 23rd, 2015 | News

Egremont Festival goes ‘smoke free’

Demand for smoke free events and spaces when children are present is high in Wirral, according to a new survey.

80 per cent of people in Wirral questioned were supportive of smokefree outdoor events for children and families, with only 10% opposed.

The survey results have been released as a new campaign, Smokefree Summer, launches in Wirral this week.

The campaign is a new initiative running across Cheshire and Merseyside during Summer 2015 which will see a series of family-friendly events in the area becoming smoke free to protect children by reducing their exposure to smoking behaviour.

As part of Smokefree Summer, The Egremont Festival, on Sunday, August 9, on Egremont Promenade, Wallasey, will be among the first events of the campaign to be smoke free.

A number of other Wirral events will follow including a Family Fun Day Old at the Old Ticket Office, Ferry Road Eastham, August 8&9, and ‘Fun in the Park’ at Dawstone Park, Heswall, on Saturday August 29.

Jess Pearce, one of the organisers of the Egremont Festival, said: ‘I am delighted to support this campaign. The Egremont Festival was founded on family-friendly values and this campaign is a perfect extension of that. We are planning a fantastic day of fun for the entire family with stalls, donkey rides, lots of competitions, attractions and music, including live performances on stage from local people – making sure our environment is safe, healthy and smoke free is absolutely vital.

Cllr Christine Jones, Wirral’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: ‘I am delighted Wirral residents are demanding more smokefree events, especially ones when children are involved.  As part of Wirral’s 2020 Vision, we want our residents to lead healthier lives and this means tackling the terrible harm caused by tobacco.

‘Come on mums, dads, grandparents – send the right message to all our children: Stub out the cigarettes and enjoy a Smokefree Summer in Wirral!’

Margaret Henderson, 53, who lives in Birkenhead said: ‘I want to see more smoke free spaces and events. I would be 100 per cent more likely to attend a smoke free family event, rather than an event that allows smoking in front of children

‘I don’t want my children exposed to tobacco and smoke as it is a very bad example. Smoke free events would show smoking is not a social thing. In addition, it would also stop my clothes, myself and my children from smelling of smoke.’

Smokefree Summer has been co-ordinated by local social enterprise Tobacco Free Futures which has worked together with local authorities and event organisers across Cheshire and Merseyside, including Wirral Council.

The street survey was carried out by an independent street engagement team commissioned by Tobacco Free Futures. 100 people in Wirral were asked their opinions on smoking outside:

  • 68% agreed that smoking outdoors in front of children and young people sets a bad example, with only 17% of people disagreeing
  • 54% agreed there should be no smoking in parks where children, and families may visit, with 27% of people disagreeing
  • 52% agreed there should be no smoking at general outdoor public events, with 27% of people disagreeing

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Tobacco Free Futures said: ‘Young people consistently overestimate the prevalence of smoking, with 60% thinking it’s the ‘norm’, when in reality four out of five people don’t smoke in the North West.

‘Smokefree summer has been created to increase the amount of clean and healthy environments that children and families play in, helping children to understand that smoking isn’t a normal activity.

‘This isn’t about protecting children from secondhand smoke in outdoor spaces, rather its promoting healthy behaviour to children. The more events that become smokefree, the less likely children are to take up smoking – preventing them from entering into a deadly addiction that kills one in two long-term smokers.’

If you are thinking about quitting smoking you can contact your local stop smoking service for free help and support by calling 0151 630 8383 or visiting www.wirralct.nhs.uk/services/lifestyle/livewell.



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