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Knowsley Feelgood Festival welcomed as a Smokefree event

The decision to make Knowsley Feelgood Festival smokefree, to help promote healthy behaviour to children, has received strong support from the public and families that attended, supporting recent survey findings which show 77% of people surveyed support smokefree outdoor events for children with only 11% opposed to the idea.
 
The survey results were released for the launch of Smokefree Summer in July within Knowsley. The campaign is a new initiative running across Cheshire and Merseyside during Summer 2015 which will see a series of family-friendly events in the area becoming smokefree to protect children by reducing their exposure to smoking.
 
Local resident Janine Cullen, 33, who attended the Knowsley Feelgood Festival with her daughter Holly who is 6 months old said: “I’ve really enjoyed the event being smokefree. It’s great for children and grown-ups alike. It’s really important that we start young with children and promote healthy behaviour. The other day my older daughter Sophia had some candy sticks, and she said to me ‘these are my cigarettes mummy’. I was really surprised. No one smokes in my family so she must have learnt it from somewhere. Children are very aware of what’s going on, so smokefree events like this that promote health are great.”
 
Smokefree Summer has been co-ordinated by local social enterprise Tobacco Free Futures which has worked together with local authorities and event organisers across Cheshire and Merseyside.
 
Cllr Eddie Connor, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “In Knowsley we’re working hard to reduce the harm caused by tobacco so we’re delighted to take part in the smokefree summer initiative.
 
“I’m glad that families welcomed the Feelgood Festival being a smokefree event to promote a positive healthy way of life – which, after all is what our Feelgood Festival is all about.”
 
Andrea Crossfield, Chief Executive of Tobacco Free Futures said: “Young people consistently overestimate the prevalence of smoking, with 60% thinking it’s the ‘norm’, when in reality four out of five people don’t smoke in the North West.
 
“Smokefree summer has been created to increase the amount of clean and healthy environments that children and families play in, helping children to understand that smoking isn’t a normal activity.
 
“This isn’t about protecting children from secondhand smoke in outdoor spaces, rather its promoting healthy behaviour to children. The more events that become smokefree, the less likely children are to take up smoking – preventing them from entering into a deadly addiction that kills one in two long-term smokers.”
 
Smokefree Knowsley, part of City Health Care Partnership CIC, also attended the event to inform people about the help available to people who want to quit smoking.
 
Miriam Bell, Stop Smoking Service Manager explains: “We know that quitting isn’t easy but we want to reassure smokers that FREE, local and convenient support is available for them.  We offer a wide range of services from drop in sessions, 1-2-1’s, online and mobile phone support.  If you are thinking about quitting smoking you can contact Smokefree Knowsley by calling 0800 3 247 111 or visiting www.readytostopsmoking.co.uk.”

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