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Weekly Edition - Published 15 August 2015


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Soapbox market and music festival welcomed as a Smokefree Summer event to protect kids

THE decision to make The Youth and Community Partnership's Soapbox market and music festival smokefree, to help promote healthy behaviour to children, has received strong support from the public and families that attended, supporting recent survey findings which showed 88% of people questioned support smokefree outdoor events for children in Sefton.

The survey results were released for the launch of Smokefree Summer in July within Sefton. 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 smokefree to protect children by reducing their exposure to smoking.

Shelly Rimmer, 37, from Southport said:- "I support smokefree events for children. I don't think that my daughter, Amelia, knows what smoking is yet and I don't want her to until she is older. I started smoking at 20 because my parents and my friends smoked and I quit smoking for Amelia to protect her.  I would like to see more events for children becoming smokefree across Sefton."

Ashley Wilson, 36, from Birkdale in Southport attended the market with his niece and said:- "I agree with smokefree events for children. I think it would make a difference to children because what kids see they want to do, it's as simple as that.  I don't like people smoking around my niece. I smoke away from the home so she doesn't see me smoking. I would like all events to become smokefree with kids present."

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.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member Health and Wellbeing said:- "We recognise that there is a high level of support and demand for more smokefree events and spaces in Sefton. We are committed to tackling the harms caused by tobacco in our communities, especially to children, and want to see more healthy, smokefree family-friendly events in our area. We have joined smokefree summer to help increase the number of family events we see promoting a smokefree policy and hope that more local organisers change their policies to protect children."

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 2 long term smokers."

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

97% agreed that smoking outdoors in front of children and young people sets a bad example, with nobody disagreeing

► 52% agreed that there should be no smoking in parks where children, and families may visit, with only 7% of people disagreeing

► 62% agreed that there should be no smoking at general outdoor public events, with only 10% of people disagreeing

If you are thinking about quitting smoking you can contact your local stop smoking service for free help and support by calling Sefton Support on:- 0300 100 1000.


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Southport Reporter (R) Bourder




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