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Stub It Out Around Our Children

Thursday 14 February 2008

Stub It Out Around Our Children

The Christchurch City Council has today given approval for the trial of a Smokefree Children’s Playground programme in the Hornby area.

The concept was developed by students at Hornby High School and has the backing of primary health organisation, Partnership Health Canterbury and Smokefree Canterbury which represents many organisations working in this area.

Michael O’Dea from Partnership Health says smoking is a major health issue to this country and smoking-related illnesses kill New Zealanders and cost millions.

“A child is seven times more likely to take up smoking later in life if they are exposed to adults smoking. Smokefree Children’s Playgrounds would reduce the number of times children see adults smoking and therefore the chances of them taking it up later in life.”

“This is not a ban or a by-law but it will put peer pressure on smokers to stub it out around our kids. There is no cost to Council associated with the trial but there are definitely savings to society if we can stop children taking up smoking.”

Martin Witt from the Canterbury Westland Division of the Cancer Society is applauding both Riccarton Wigram Community Board and Christchurch City Council for their support. “It sends out a really positive message about the importance of refraining from smoking around children.”

The pilot supports the Community Outcome of the Councils Long Term Community Consultation Plan by promoting a ‘Healthy City. It also has strong links with the Strategic Direction of promoting ‘Strong Communities’ which is about ‘encouraging healthy and active lifestyles by providing parks, public buildings and facilities that are safe to use’. Healthy environments like Smokefree Children’s Playgrounds also supports out garden city image – in which you have invested significant resource.

ENDS


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