Hundreds of Leeds pupils support bid for smokefree playgrounds with signs to back new ban

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More than 140 playgrounds across Leeds are set to be deemed smokefree zones after the winners of a sign design competition were revealed.

The YEP teamed up with Leeds City Council to encourage creative children to design bright and bold ‘no smoking’ signs to help the local authority introduce a new voluntary smoking ban in all of its children’s playgrounds this year.

More than 100 colourful creations were submitted as scores of pupils put pen to paper last month, giving our panel of judges a difficult task in choosing the winner.

Adaeze Ulebor, from St Bartholomew’s C of E Primary School in Armley, eventually came out on top, while designs by Batrimi Onwudili, also from St Bartholomew’s, and Jack Eastwood, of Aberford Primary School in Aberford, were chosen as runners up in the competition.

The overall winner, runners up and three others whose entries were commended will be given prizes such as Leeds Rhinos and Tropical World tickets before designs are reproduced and put up in Leeds playgrounds to discourage smoking.

Coun Lisa Mulherin, the council’s executive member for health and adults, said: “The entries are so good – we hope to find ways to use more than just the winners’ work. We have had lots of interest in the whole competition and our plans.

“As we join in the aim of inspiring a smokefree generation with the Breathe2025 campaign, our smokefree playgrounds will play an important part as we discourage smoking in areas designed for children.”

The council’s smokefree play area drive follows similar moves by local authorities in the UK and abroad to reduce passive smoking and protect children.

Dr Ian Cameron, the council’s director of public health, added: “Most people take up smoking when they are young and there is good evidence to suggest smokefree playgrounds help reduce smoking and the impact it can have on children.”