Stalybridge school become smokefree champions

A Stalybridge school has been presented with an award for its role championing a healthy smokefree environment for its pupils.

Arlies Primary School has joined the Smokefree Gates scheme to raise awareness of the benefits of a smokefree lifestyle and the harmful effects of cigarettes.

They held a Little Lungs Matter week from 25 to 29 November, in partnership with Be Well Tameside, which is running a stall to get support for parents, carers and pupil’s families to become smokefree, as well as giving advice and support for other health and wellbeing aspects of their lives.

Lucy Hughes, head teacher at Arlies Primary School, said: “I’m delighted we’ve received this award, as it shows our continued work to provide the best possible environment for our pupils. It’s been great to see how our pupils have taken the Little Lungs Matter Week message on board, even making their own artwork!”

The initiative aims to de-normalise smoking for children and young people by preventing parents and carers from using cigarettes or e-cigs at the school gates. It's part of a wider movement to increase the amount of smokefree spaces across Tameside to inspire a smokefree generation.

At 17 per cent, Tameside has one of the highest rates of smoking in the North West. 

Cllr Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Population Health, said: "Our Smokefree Gates scheme is helping local young people see that smoking isn’t a normal habit. Children exposed to smoking are significantly more likely to become smokers themselves so it’s important that we encourage people to be mindful of its effects.

"Across Greater Manchester another child starts to smoke every hour, which makes another classroom of smokers every day. This is why we’re working with children and young people so they can understand why being smokefree is so important for your health and wellbeing. As a parent of three young children myself, I’d like to see all schools across Tameside adopt this scheme for the benefit of our children." 

Happe Hoque, Health & Wellbeing Co-ordinator for Be Well Tameside, added: “Extending smokefree spaces across school gates will help reinforce the message of family friendly spaces by providing clean air spaces for all and promote healthy lifestyles. As a consequence this will support our tobacco-free agenda in making smoking history by providing fewer opportunities for smoking to be normalised.”

Tameside schools looking for more information the Smokefree Gates scheme should get in touch by emailing publichealth.enquiries@tameside.gov.uk.

Be Well Tameside is a free service to for people in Tameside which offers free specialist advice, including on stopping smoking. Visit their website for details at https://www.penninecare.nhs.uk/bewelltameside.

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