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  1. ITV Report

Smoking ban trialled on sidelines of children's sports pitches

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.

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

66%
of smokers in Wales started smoking regularly before they turned 18.

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.

Children copy what they see and are highly influenced by the behaviour of their parents and carers, so asking parents not to smoke on the sidelines can determine whether young people become smokers themselves in later life.

– Suzanne Cass, CEO ASH Wales

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.