Primary school headteachers across Dudley borough are being urged to support a campaign to encourage people to stop smoking outside schools.
All schools across the borough already adopt a smoke free policy within school grounds but this latest move will put a stop to people smoking on school perimeters.
Latest statistics show that of 2,204 year six pupils in Dudley questioned as part of a health related behaviour questionnaire last year, 34 percent said their parents or carers smoke. To protect children and others passing by second-hand smoke, schools taking part across the borough will be asking anyone who visits or stands at the school gates to stay smoke free and not light up a cigarette anywhere nearby.
Second hand smoke can be very dangerous to babies and children as their bodies are not fully developed and it can leave them more prone to getting coughs and colds, lung conditions and ear infections. Councillor Cathy Bayton, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said:
"Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death in the UK, with more than 78,000 deaths a year. This is astonishing but smoking is a choice and one, which some people choose to make but it isn’t a choice our children choose to make.
"I hope that this campaign will be supported by our schools and by parents and carers, to reduce the amount of second hand smoke our children are exposed to.”
Kates Hill Primary is the first school to support the campaign. The initiative is supported by the Black Country Tobacco Control Alliance and aims to promote awareness of the importance of making smoking less visible to children.
The council will be sending toolkits to all primary schools.