Newcastle school’s gates go smoke-free in boost to children’s health
Broadwood Primary School, supported by Smoke Free Newcastle, are trialling the voluntary code in the hopes that parents and carers will abstain from smoking
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A Newcastle primary school has become the first in the city to implement a smoke free school gates policy to reduce pupils’ exposure to smoking.
Broadwood Primary School implemented the voluntary code which means parents and carers are encouraged to abstain from smoking at the entrance to the school.
The policy was supported by Smoke Free Newcastle and the school aims to reduce children’s exposure to smoking, discourage young people from smoking and support those hoping to quit.
Staff and pupils were present on Friday morning to raise awareness of the policy in the local community.
Cllr Karen Kilgour, Newcastle City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for a Healthy, Caring City, said: “School buildings and grounds are already smoke free zones, allowing children to learn and thrive in a healthy environment, but Smoke Free School Gates aims to expand this into the journey to and from school.
“Young people can be influenced by the actions of adults, and we want to create an environment where children no longer see parents and carers smoking at the school gates and become influenced into taking up smoking themselves. We want all our residents to live long and healthy lives in our communities and I’m delighted we’re taking this important step.
“I’m delighted to be joining the Broadwood Primary School community as they become the city’s first school to adopt the Smoke Free School Gates policy, which I hope sets an example to other schools in Newcastle and the wider region.”
Wendy Mitcheson, Head Teacher of Broadwood Primary School, said: “We want to promote healthy living for our children and families. We are aware of the challenges of money our families face and know smoking can feel like it is relieving stress and anxieties - we hope to break this cycle and encourage children to choose other ways to relieve stress.
“We are equipping our children with the knowledge and skills set to choose a healthier lifestyle and be independent of their choices rather than be pressured by peers. We hope our sign sends the right message.”
Smoking kills an estimated 365 people in Newcastle each year, and Broadwood Primary School has received praise for taking the initiative in a potentially smoke-free zone.