Information provided by Rebecca Kineen, Public Health.
Smokefree Sidelines is a joint campaign between Buckinghamshire Council’s Public Health team and the Berks and Bucks Football Association (FA). The campaign aims to promote Smokefree Sidelines across Buckinghamshire reducing harm to those who are exposed to smoking and encourage an environment that minimises future uptake of smoking in children and young people.
Second-hand smoke (passive smoke) is dangerous, especially for children, and can lead to a higher risk of breathing problems, asthma, and allergies. However, ensuring a smoke free environment can help protect children against these risks.
Research also shows that children are less likely to start smoking if their primary role models do not smoke. It is currently estimated that in the UK around 207 000 children aged 11–15 start smoking every year. Smokers who start at an early age are more likely to smoke heavily when they are older and find it difficult to stop. In response, the Smokefree Sidelines campaign intends to de-normalise smoking at grassroots youth football matches within Buckinghamshire by requesting that those attending the grounds refrain from smoking on site.
Adopting Smokefree Sidelines is not about targeting smokers unfairly, but more asking current smokers to be aware of their visibility to children who may see them smoking. The idea is to encourage smokers to either refrain from smoking during the match or to move away from the side lines and smoke where children and young people are not present.
If you would like to know more you can contact Rebecca Kineen Public Health at Rebecca.email@example.com.