Yorkshire Day was celebrated in Elsecar today (Thursday, 1 August) with the launch of the much-loved park going completely smokefree.
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death and there’s no better place for families to get fit and healthy than the free local parks. A smokefree park where smoking is invisible, plus physical activity with family and friends is a great way to spend the school holidays.
Families joined in with some fun, free activities led by the Beat the Streets team; there was advice on smoking cessation, and entertainment was provided by a youth enterprise group who were undertaking a four hour danceathon challenge to raise money for Barnsley Hospital’s Tiny Hearts appeal for premature babies.
Parks throughout the borough already have smoke free play areas which aim to make smoking invisible to children. Barnsley Council is continually building on this and pushing the smokefree agenda forward as part of its contribution to the Breathe 2025 vision in which the next generation of children are born and raised in a borough which is free from tobacco and where smoking is rarely seen.
Barnsley has already seen success with smokefree Pals Square outside the town hall, smokefree Barnsley Markets, and smokefree school gates.
Residents are asked to pledge their support to the Breathe 2025 Campaign by going to the campaign website https://breathe2025.org.uk/pledge/ and signing up to one or more simple actions to help us create a smokefree generation in Barnsley, where children are protected from the harms of tobacco.
This could be pledging to watch and share the Breathe 2025 video, supporting a friend to quit or simply telling someone else about the campaign.
Cllr Jim Andrews, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health, said: “We want to provide as many smokefree environments as possible for children and their families to enjoy, and I’m thrilled that the whole of Elsecar Park has committed to this ambition.
“Evidence shows that if young people see smoking as part of everyday life they are more likely to smoke themselves so by making smoking invisible to children, we hope to vastly reduce the number of children and young people picking up the habit and inspire a smoke-free generation.
“As well as the benefits to health, we also hope to see a reduction in cigarette litter in the park, which is costly to clean up as well as being unsightly.”
Julia Burrows, Director of Public Health, added: “All our smokefree areas are managed through a voluntary code and although there is no threat of enforcement, we hope that people will show consideration for children by not smoking anywhere in Elsecar Park.”
People who want to give up smoking are urged to call Yorkshire Smokefree service on 0800 612 0011 from a landline or 0330 660 1166 from a mobile. Both are free to call.