Norfolk FA & the NHS launch #smokefreesidelines
Posted: Mon, 24 Jul 2017 15:45
Kids copy adult behaviour – so please don't smoke on the sidelines.
That was the message in a campaign launched at the weekend by the NHS and Smokefree Norfolk at Norfolk FA's annual summer tournament, the FDC Youth Cup.
Local youth football clubs are being invited to join the campaign and become smoke free spaces. This means members and visitors are asked to refrain from smoking indoors and outdoors, anywhere on site, including all playing fields and especially the pitch side lines.
Fakenham Town Youth FC have become the first club to get involved in the 'Smokefree Sidelines' project, and other clubs from Council Districts across the County are encouraged to get involved in the campaign that would see each club receiving support in the form of pitchside flags, banners, t-shirts, free training and more.
The Chair of NHS Norwich CCG, Tracy Williams, said: "Children are influenced by what they see, they copy what adults do and young people are most at risk of becoming smokers themselves if they grow up in communities where smoking is the norm.
"The most effective way to prevent young people from becoming smokers is to encourage adult smokers to quit and to remove young people's exposure to smoking."
Smokefree Sidelines has been developed by NHS Norwich Clinical Commissioning Group (Norwich CCG) as part of its Healthy Norwich programme, in close partnership with Norfolk County FA.
It is accompanied by a hard hitting graphic that helps parents understand why going smokefree is so important.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in Norfolk
Approximately 1 in 6 people in Norfolk are smokers
Children who grow up with a parent or family member who smokes are three times more likely to start smoking themselves.
A worrying 40% of smokers started the habit aged 16 or under
Norfolk FA Chairman, Michael Banham said: "We're delighted to be able to provide support to such a worthwhile initiative that can have a real positive impact on the lives of Norfolk's youth footballers.
"The statistics send a clear message and I'm glad that Norfolk FA can be a part of a drive to reduce the number of smokers in the County, in particular those starting at a young age due to the exposure they receive."
James Wade, from Smokefree Norfolk, added: "Around 35% of children who smoke start around the age of 12 years with 90% of those children starting smoking because a family member does or because they feel peer pressure from their friends.
"Secondhand smoke has been proven to be 85% more toxic than smoking and is full of toxic chemicals which can cause cancer and other lung or heart diseases, so this campaign will keep reminding people of the effects of tobacco addiction and their actions."
Smoking often starts as a childhood addiction and evidence has shown that most adult smokers started smoking at a young age. This means that taking up smoking is a decision made by children, but one that affects them and their loved ones for the rest of their lives.
Being a smoke free club is not about unfairly targeting smokers. Rather, it is about promoting your sports club as a healthy and inclusive place, where the wellbeing of all, and particularly children and young people, is a priority.
For more information about the Smokefree Sidelines project and to express your interest at being involved in time for the start of the 17/18 season, please email Marketing@NorfolkFA.com
If you – or anyone you know – smokes and would like NHS support to quit then you can search online for Smokefree Norfolk or call 0800 0854 113.