A SCHOOL has become the first in Rotherham to be declared completely smoke-free.
Meadow View Primary in Kimberworth has adopted the recommendations in Rotherham Council’s “Proud to be Smokefree Toolkit” to support the council’s aims to create a “smoke-free” generation in Rotherham.
This toolkit follows on from the council’s smokefree play parks initiative to “make smoking invisible” to children and has been launched to tie in with NHS Stoptober campaign to encourage residents to stop smoking for 28 days in October.
Evidence shows that children are less likely to start smoking if they do not view the activity as a normal part of everyday life.
As smoking becomes less visible and less socially acceptable it should reduce smoking uptake by young and new smokers.
The council’s cabinet member for public health, Cllr David Roche, said: “It is essential we set positive examples wherever we can — we want our town’s next generation to grow up in a smokefree environment to protect them from the harms of tobacco and ensure that children in the borough have the best start in life.”
Hundreds of children start smoking every day and one in two who become long-term smokers will die early as a result.
Two-thirds of smokers report that they took up smoking before the age of 18.
Karen Smith, executive headteacher of Meadow View School, said: “We are passionate about improving the health and well-being of our pupils.
“We want our children to breathe smoke-free air in all areas and we want to do everything we can for our pupils to not take up smoking.”
Cllr Roche, added: “The Smokefree policy is entirely voluntary and relies on the good will of the whole school community to make the scheme work but we hope that smokers respect the school’s decision for the wellbeing of the children.
“All Rotherham primary schools will have access to the toolkit and I hope that they follow Meadow View’s good example to take up the challenge to become fully Smokefree.”
As part of the Smokefree policy, the school also promotes help to stop smoking support available from specialiest service Get Healthy Rotherham.