Council to vote on whether smoking should be banned in children’s playparks in Worksop

Should smoking be banned in areas where children play?
Should smoking be banned in areas where children play?

A smoking ban across children’s play areas in Worksop could be rubber-stamped by Bassetlaw District Council next week after garnering “significant support” from residents.

A consultation found 92 per cent of the district’s residents in favour of the “voluntary” ban, which would involve signage being placed in and around parks asking people not to smoke.

The results were backed up by an online poll featured on the Guardian website, which found 83 per cent in favour of banning smoking in areas such as The Canch.

Councillor Julie Leigh, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We are asking smokers to use a bit of common sense and not smoke in an area where children could breathe in second hand smoke or see adults smoking.

“We hope that by introducing a voluntary ban this will make sure that children using play areas are protected from the dangers of second hand smoke.

“We also wish to challenge the perception that smoking is normal behaviour and, in the long-term, reduce the likelihood of children taking up smoking later in life.”

Responses collected during the consultation include. “I think it’s a great idea. Children should not be forced to breathe in harmful smoke.”

Another resident said: “I assumed all areas where children play are smoke-free and am surprised to hear they are not. We would support a ban that would improve the health and well-being of young people.”

But some participants were sceptical about how a “voluntary ban” would work, with one resident calling the proposal an “oxymoron”.

“The challenge will be people who do not do the right thing and still smoke, as there will not be anyone there to stop them,” one response read. “But doing something is better than nothing.”

One participant said the council “had it in for smokers” and another said: “If it’s out in the open air and parents are mindful of others, I don’t really see smoking as an issue.”

The council will vote on the proposal at a cabinet meeting next Tuesday.