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‘Don’t puff away while children play’

Cllr Ahsan Khan (second from right) with local parents, children and staff from The Lloyd Park Centre
Steps are being taken to make playgrounds smoke-free for Waltham Forest’s children.

From 11 March, the 32nd national No Smoking Day, Waltham Forest Council is urging park users to keep children’s play areas focused on fun, not fags, by not smoking in any children’s play area in any of the borough’s parks.

Using signage in and around the playground, the campaign asks residents to set a good example and help children live healthier lives by stubbing out their cigarettes before they go into a play area.

Cllr Ahsan Khan, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Our children’s play areas are for healthy play, not cigarette smoke.

“Research shows that the less children see adults smoke, the less ‘normal’ they think it is, reducing the chances of them starting smoking themselves. So, our message is simple, don’t puff away while children play.”

Supporting the campaign, park keepers will be speaking to parents, encouraging them to take note of the signage, and will help spread the message by providing leaflets to park users.

These steps follow advice from the London Health Commission that smoking should be banned in parks across the capital.

Cllr Khan continued: “Our campaign is all about encouragement rather than enforcement, and if it’s well-received it could potentially be the starting point in a wider campaign to ban smoking in parks entirely.

“We think the majority of parents want to see healthy and happy play areas so we’re hoping the signage will go down well with park users.”

Dr Anwar Khan, local GP and Chair of NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “It’s important for people who smoke to consider the health effects their smoking has on other people. I want people who smoke to consider stopping.  Stopping smoking is the best thing you can do for your health. By stopping, you reduce the chances of you and people around you who inhale your cigarette smoke, getting lung cancer, heart disease, stroke and other related illnesses.

“Thinking about the effects your smoking has on others and with No Smoking day on 11 March it is a good opportunity for you to take a look at your health and make the decision to stop smoking. Take the time to speak to your local pharmacy, GP, or the NHS Stop Smoking Service today. With the right attitude and support, you can stop.”

The Council’s campaign is being launched to coincide with national No Smoking Day, which is run by the British Heart Foundation and supported by Public Health England. It helps smokers who want to quit by creating a supportive environment, and by highlighting the many sources of help and advice available.

According to the charity, more than 10 million people in the UK still smoke, and around 100,000 die every year from smoking-related causes.

If you want help quitting, call your free, local stop smoking service on 0800 032 0102. Smokefree Waltham Forest offers tailored support that’s proven to be effective and its services are suitable for all smokers.

To speak to a member of the Council’s public health team, call 020 8496 3000. Or, to find out more about public health services in Waltham Forest, visit

Notes to editors

Campaign signs will be installed at the following, fenced play areas:

  • Abbotts Park under 7s Play Area, E10

  • Artesian Gardens, E.11

  • Bridge Road Play Area, E17

  • Church Lane Play Area, E11

  • Coppermill Park Play Area under 7s, E17

  • Dames Road Play Area, E11

  • Drysdale Park Play Area, E4

  • Dyers Hall Park Play Area, E11

  • Epi-Centre Play Area, E11

  • Greenleaf Road Play Area, E17

  • Harrow Road Play Area, E11

  • Henry Reynolds Gardens under 7s Play Area, E11

  • Higham Hill Rec. under 7s Play Area, E17

  • Keatley Green under 12s Play Area, E4

  • Langthorne Park under 7s Play Area, E11

  • Leyton Jubilee Park Fenced Area play equipment, E10

  • Leyton Manor Park, E10

  • Lloyd Park Play Area, E17

  • Marlowe Road under 7s Play Area, E17

  • Memorial Park Play Area, E4

  • Pimp Hall Park Play Area, E4

  • Queens Road Play Area under 7s, E17

  • Sidmouth Park under 7s Play Area, E10

  • St. James Park Play Area, E17

  • Stoneydown Park under 7s Play Area, E17

  • Thomas Gamuel Park under 7s Play Area, E17

  • Town Centre Play Area, E17

  • Vincent Road Play Area, E4

  • Walnut Road Play Area, E10

  • Wingfield Park Play Area, E17

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email or call 07966 915 157.