School gates are areas where young people congregate daily, are influenced by adults around them and are affected by smoking. Smoking on school grounds is set to become illegal summer 2019, however this will not extend to school gates.

Why Smokefree School Gates?

Exposure to Smoking

Children exposed to smoking from family, friends or teachers are much more likely to start smoking themselves.1 Children with parents who smoke are 70% more likely to start smoking.2

Habit of Childhood

A classroom of children take up smoking every day. Two thirds of smokers start before the age of 18. People who start smoking earlier are often the heaviest smokers later in life.

Second-hand Smoke

11,000 people die every year in the UK due to someone else’s smoking habit. Second-hand smoke is especially dangerous for children. It can increase the risk of asthma, glue ear and lung conditions.

Cigarette Litter

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world, found on 80.3% of Wales’ streets. How many can you find outside your school? Empower children to take environmental action!

The story so far

We know from opinion polls that public support for smokefree spaces in Wales is high. We have good links with public health representatives in other countries who have been actively involved in campaigning for and developing smokefree spaces.

What the school defines as important to the well-being of staff and pupils, helps shape the community and the family home. Your school plays a vital role in preparing young people for adult life.

Working with local authorities we are further developing smokefree policies that will protect young people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. There is also clear evidence that young people are influenced by seeing adults smoke.

Like our hugely successful smokefree playgrounds campaign, smokefree school gates involves a voluntary ban coupled with signage and a public awareness campaign. Wrexham was the first Local Authority in Wales to implement the ban with signage provided by ourselves. Many other councils such as Swansea and Ceredigion have now followed suit.

The Future

Wales is set to be the first country in the UK to extend its smoking ban to outdoor areas, with smokefree areas expected to be in place in hospital groundsschool grounds and playgrounds in 2020, however this will not extend to school gates.

Get involved

Make your school gates smokefree

Fill out the form below to show your interest in smokefree school gates and a member of our team will be in touch.

Further Reading

Leonardi-Bee J, Jere ML, Britton J. Exposure to parental and sibling smoking and the risk of smoking uptake in childhood and adolescence: a systematic review and meta-analysis. 2011

2 Young People and Smoking. ASH England. July 2014