Merton children say: “Don’t smoke in our playgrounds”

New signs designed by Merton school children asking people not to smoke in playgrounds have gone up on park railings around the borough.

The council’s public health team worked with local children from the SHINE project, a Saturday school based at Bond Primary School, who designed the posters. Over 60 entries were submitted with two winners chosen by Merton’s cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Maxi Martin and cabinet member for adult social care and health, Cllr Caroline Cooper-Marbiah. The winning posters were designed by Sophie Ann-Morris (aged 11) and Theo Lee-Rhoden (aged 8). From 1 October it became illegal to smoke in cars with children inside them.

L-R: Sophie Ann-Morris, Cllr Maxi Martin, Cllr Caroline Cooper-Marbiah and Theo Lee-Rhoden

L-R: Sophie Ann-Morris, Cllr Maxi Martin, Cllr Caroline Cooper-Marbiah and Theo Lee-Rhoden

Cllr Caroline Cooper-Marbiah, said: “Children’s health habits are heavily influenced by their parents. If a child’s parent smokes they are three times more likely to do so than someone who comes from a non-smoking household. As well as this, second hand smoke is a serious health hazard. This is why we want to encourage parents to refrain from smoking in areas where children are playing.”

Residents living or working in Merton who would like support to quit smoking, should text ‘Help2quit’ to 80800.

ENDS