‘Please don’t smoke where we play’ – that’s the message from schoolchildren to adults who light up near their playgrounds.

Primary school children were asked to come up with signs to bring this request to life.

We, alongside Devon County Council, are members of Smokefree Devon Alliance, and set up a poster competition among primary school pupils to find the best designs.

More than 30 children entered the competition from schools in both areas, as well as art and craft clubs and community groups.

A shortlist of ten was put to our Torbay on the Move oversight group, which whittled it down to three winners.

Katherine, seven, William, nine, and Josie, 11, were named the winners and they will receive a Reach Outdoors voucher for two one-hour hires of a paddleboard or kayak from the Goodrington Beach Centre.

Their signs will be displayed in 23 play parks throughout Torbay and in Devon 112 signs have been distributed to the county’s eight district councils (14 each). They will use them in their play parks and play areas.

Councillor Hayley Tranter, Torbay Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult and Community Services, Public Health and Inequalities, said: “Play parks should be safe spaces for children and young people and what could be safer than knowing you’re not breathing in harmful second-hand smoke?”

“This is about children directly asking adults not to smoke where they play, and we hope these signs make grown-ups think before they reach for their cigarettes.”

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Communities and Equality, said: “We’ve all seen it, adults smoking in or near play parks.

“Sometimes its young adults and sometimes it’s the parents themselves, but regardless, it's unacceptable and these signs convey a simple message, please don’t smoke where we play.

“Adults’ smoking in play parks harms children – in the short-term second-hand smoke is damaging and in the long-term exposure to smoking makes it more likely that children will become smokers themselves.”

The signs were produced and installed by SWISCo, the organisation which maintains Torbay’s parks.

Torbay on the Move is our initiative to get people in the Bay moving more and leading healthier lifestyles.

The Smokefree Devon Alliance is a partnership of local authorities and the NHS in Devon created to combat smoking in the county.

Next week sees the start of Stoptober, when smokers are encouraged to think about quitting.

If you wish to start your stop smoking journey, then Your Health Torbay is there to get you going. Email Yourhealth.torbay@nhs.net or call 01803 422422.

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