Children’s play areas across Chorley are to go smoke-free in an effort to stop youngsters taking up smoking.
Lancashire County Council is introducing a Smokefree Play Code at all children’s play areas within local authority-owned parks.
The scheme is voluntary, but the council hopes that park users will abide by the code when they are in play areas.
County Coun Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and well-being, said: “Stopping children becoming smokers and forming a habit that could ultimately kill them is one of our key priorities.
“Children learn this habit from adults and three out of every four children are aware of smoking by the time they are five years old.
“The more they see people smoke, the more they see it as a normal part of everyday life, and the more likely they are to become smokers themselves.
“We hope adults will agree that this is a good enough reason not to light up in playgrounds and support our Smokefree Play Code.”
Smoke-free signs will be installed at parks and staff will be given training and resources to tell people about the code and the resources that are available to help people quit smoking.
The code will cover play areas which are fenced off and contain play equipment for children.
It does not cover general parks and open spaces.
Coun Paul Walmsley, who oversees public protection for Chorley Council,= said: “We are looking to encourage parents not to smoke where children play so we’ve joined forces with Lancashire County Council to try to get the message across to people.
“It is important that we adults set a positive example to our children and this is just one measure we believe can help.
“It’s early days yet, but once the signs are installed in our play areas, our officers will be out and about talking to people about this and giving out advice and information to help them stop smoking.”
The code will be introduced over the next year in Chorley, South Ribble, Preston, Lancaster, Wyre and Fylde.