We know that children copy behaviour, a child is two thirds more likely to start smoking if they have a parent who smokes. When children witness adults lighting up in everyday settings such as football pitches, they come to see smoking as a normal lifestyle choice, rather than the deadly addiction that it is.

Our #SmokefreeSportsCymru campaign aims to promote healthy lifestyle choices for young people and denormalise smoking for children by asking parents not to smoke on the sidelines of children’s sports activities.

Why Smokefree Sport?

Given the choice young people would like to participate and enjoy sport in a clean, healthy, smokefree environment. We surveyed 125 children with 99% saying they didn’t want adults smoking around them when playing sport.

We also asked the children if they thought smoking was common or uncommon in Wales and 88% said they thought smoking was common. When asked what percentage of people smoke in Wales the average answer was over half the population at 56%, compared to the actual figure of 18%.

Children and young people are highly influenced by what they see around them and the “important” people in their lives. To ensure less children take up smoking, we need to denormalise smoking and change young people’s perceptions that smoking is a common activity.

Rhondda & District Juniors – Pilot Project

ASH Wales are partnering with FAW Trust  in Spring 2019, launching a new project working with youth football teams in the Rhondda area of South Wales. We are working with Rhondda & District Football League to ask parents not to smoke on the sidelines at junior football matches, to promote healthy behaviour to young players and provide support to parents who wish to quit.

Smoking rates in the Rhondda are one of the highest in Wales at 20% amongst its adult population. This campaign provides ASH Wales an opportunity to engage with parents in an environment which already promotes healthy lifestyle choices through engagement in sport.

We also know from similar campaigns in Norwich and Hull that there is an appetite amongst parents/carers to promote initiatives that support not smoking in front of children.

Social Media Graphics

Get Involved!

If you are involved with a sports team or facility and want to find out more about our Smokefree Sports campaign please contact