Lambeth Labour has banned smoking in all council-run playgrounds with signs now up across the borough.
Children from Herne Hill’s Jessop School helped design the signs asking people not to smoke where they play.
Council and police officers and members of the public are being asked to enforce the ban by pointing out the signs to anyone smoking in playgrounds in parks and on Lambeth Council housing estates.
Based on the experience of similar bans on train platforms and other public spaces the restriction and signs will reduce exposure to second-hand smoke.
It also limits the space where smoking is seen as ‘normal’ in a bid to discourage people from the habit which kills half of all smokers and many more who breathe other people’s second-hand smoke.
The ban should also cut down on litter from cigarette butts, which estimated to amount to 26 tonnes in Lambeth every year. These butts can take up to 12 years to biodegrade and are dangerous to young children who may ingest them.
In addition to the butts are the boxes, cellophane, lighters, paper and pouches that can blight parks and playgrounds and cost money to clean up.
Lambeth Council Cabinet Member for Health Cllr Ed Davie said: “It is great to see these signs up around the borough to protect our children from cancer-causing smoke, litter and seeing smoking as a normal activity.
“Smoking is the single biggest cause of premature death in Lambeth and we will do everything we can to support people to quit and protect non-smokers from toxic second-hand smoke.”
If the ban is successful Lambeth Council will look at extending it to whole parks and other public spaces.
Lambeth Labour councillors with the stop smoking signs designed by Lambeth children