Smoking ban trialled on sidelines of children's sports pitches

Smoking Credit: PA Images

A pilot project banning parents from smoking on the sidelines at children’s sports games has been launched.

The project aims to reduce children's exposure to secondhand smoke and de-normalise the habit.

The idea is part of the "Smokefree Sports" campaign and is being run by Action on Smoking Health Wales and the Football Association of Wales (FAW) Trust.

Credit: PA Images

The ban is being trialled at Rhondda District Football League's mini and junior football games as well as South Wales Women's and Girl's League junior games in the Rhondda area.

The Rhondda district has some of the highest smoking rates in Wales - with 20% of the adult population being smokers.

Read more: Health body 'disappointed' nearly one fifth of Welsh adults still smoke

Previous research has shown that children exposed to smoking are more likely to start smoking themselves.

Suzanne Cass, Chief Executive Officer of ASH Wales, says this is a "fantastic opportunity" to promote a healthier lifestyle to hundreds of parents and children.

Information on how to stop smoking will also be available to parents watching the games.

If successful, the idea could be rolled out to youth football teams across Wales.

Read more: Increase in people quitting smoking in Wales