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Smoking in children's playgrounds and parks: should it be banned?

Hello everyone

We've been contacted by a mum who's started a petition to ban people from smoking in or near children's playgrounds and parks.

So we thought we'd ask you what you think about it.

Annie, who started the petition, says she started it in response to an conversation she had with in a children's playground. "A woman asked if it would bother me if she smoked in the playground while on the seesaw with her young daughter, " she says.

"When I said it would bother me, she told me that my 1-year-old son would turn out to be 'arrogant' and smoked anyway. Secondhand smoke, even outside, is dangerous for kids."

Annie points out that cigarette smoke can be left as residue on surfaces. "So, if, for example, someone is smoking on a seesaw," she says, "the dangerous chemicals from that smoke will then be touched and possibly ingested by the children who will next use that playground equipment. Dogs are banned from kids' parks. Smoke should also be banned in and near them."

Do you agree? Would you like to see smoking banned in children's playgrounds and parks? (You can see the petition here)

Or not?

We'd love to hear your views on this one. Please do let us know by adding a reply to this discussion thread. Thank you!




  • You know i just think monkey see, monkey do - so if a child sees someone smoking, they think that's ok. It is not ok for children to see this as it becomes normalised, and the fact this woman was smoking in a playground (Jeeees woman, just wait until your child has finished playing!) is just so grim.

    Also the whole point being, she asked if it was ok - well she clearly knew it wasn't, so why bloody ask! Yes, it should be banned from playgrounds, but it should also be common sense that we don't want people puffing away while our kids are on swings and slides. 

  • Thing is its ok to say yes ban it but who is going to police it I know round my area the favourite place for a teenager to hangout is a child's playground that is where they go to smoke so is there going to be cctv on every play ground or a policeman there to control it. I think yes ban but I think it's an impossible ask for resources available 

  • That's so true kyrie, who would police this? No one i expect, but hopefully if people saw a sign saying no smoking, it might deter those parents that choose to smoke in parks. And as this says playgrounds, surely they don't mean school playgrounds? But playgrounds found in parks... i hate picking up my kid from school and seeing parents spark up the minute they reach outside the school gate. 

  • Many schools already have the ban in place. Playgrounds enclosed within a gated/fenced area also tend to have 'no smoking' posted upon the gate/fence. The problem is parks tend to be more widely open spaces & without any form of fencing to 'enclose' the play area then the play area is also an open space in which it is legal to smoke. I don't smoke myself but have friends & family who do, they will try to keep to the edge of the play area whilst smoking but they are also supervising their children...

  • Why does it need to be so dramatic? Residue can be left on the seesaw? Your perfume makes it hard for me to breathe. Seriously do we need to ban everything that bothers us? And is it effective anyway? 

    Why not post signs asking people not to smoke near where children are playing in consideration of their health. Or more signs that say Kids and Secondhand smoke don't go together. 

    It's not like there is a cloud of smoke hanging over playgrounds and parks. There are far more worrisome things! Kids might get exposed here and there but if we spend time educating them about foods and the harms of addictive substances we'll probably help them more. 

  • I'm sure I've seen no smoking signs in childrens play areas before. 

  • i think it should be banned but i also agree even if it was ban it would still happen as no one would regulate it. It is pretty impossible to in terms of their are millions of parks and some play parks are inside larger parks so does that mean no smoking full stop in all parks.

    I think smoking is a bigger issue than just play parks but i do think smoking around any child is wrong and not just in play parks as they don't choose to take in your second hand smoke.  

  • Difficult one....but I would say ban it. I look after 31 play areas and we don't have a ban in ours yet!

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