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Support for smokefree family events in Salford, as new campaign launches

Demand for smokefree events and spaces with children present is high in Salford, according to a new survey. 66% of people in Salford questioned were supportive of smokefree outdoor events for children and families, with only 6% opposed.

The survey results have been released as a fresh, new campaign, Smokefree Summer, has launched in Salford. The campaign is a new initiative running across Greater Manchester during Summer 2015 which will see a series of community organised family-friendly events in the area becoming smokefree to protect children by reducing their exposure to smoking behaviour.

The smokefree events will also help to reduce litter and reduce the chances of young children picking up and potentially eating cigarette butts that are toxic.

As part of Smokefree Summer the Ivy Street Picnic in the Park will be the first smokefree event of the campaign in Salford. The Ivy Street Picnic in the Park is on the 19th of August. To find out more information visit http://www.visitsalford.info

Abbey Murray, 30, who lives in Salford said: “I support smokefree events and I think that in the future all events for children should be smokefree.

“I would be more likely to attend a smokefree family event, rather than an event that allows smoking in front of children. I don’t want my children to see people smoking and think that it’s a normal thing to do.

“Children are impressionable so they are more likely to copy adults and think they’re being cool and grown up by smoking. So not seeing adults smoking will stop children from taking up smoking or being influenced.”

Smokefree Summer has been co-ordinated by local social enterprise Tobacco Free Futures which has worked together with local authorities and event organisers across Greater Manchester.

The street survey was carried out by an independent street engagement team commissioned by Tobacco Free Futures. 50 people in Salford were asked their opinions on smoking outside:

Councillor Lisa Stone, Salford City Council’s assistant mayor for health and wellbeing, said: “As a mum myself I think smokefree family events are a great idea where possible and practical. Anything that keeps children and young people from starting smoking and encourages people who do smoke to give up, is very welcome in Salford. It is tough to quit smoking but the help and support is there and it can be done.”

Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Tobacco Free Futures said: “Young people consistently overestimate the prevalence of smoking, with 60% thinking it’s the ‘norm’, when in reality four out of five people don’t smoke in the North West.

“Smokefree summer has been created to increase the amount of clean and healthy environments that children and families play in, helping children to understand that smoking isn’t a normal activity.

“This isn’t about protecting children from secondhand smoke in outdoor spaces, rather its promoting healthy behaviour to children. The more events that become smokefree, the less likely children are to take up smoking – preventing them from entering into a deadly addiction that kills one in two long-term smokers.”

If you are thinking about quitting smoking you can contact your local stop smoking service for free help and support by calling 0800 952 1000

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SalfordOnline.com's Local History Editor and Senior Reporter.