Study finds smokefree playground policies can make a difference

January 23, 2013

British and New Zealand playgrounds have a significantly smaller proportion of people smoking than other types of public outdoor areas, according to latest research from the University of Otago, Wellington.

New Zealand playgrounds and streets also have less smoking than in Britain, but outdoor transport waiting areas have more.

The University of Otago researchers have been developing and testing simple methods that can be used by anyone for determining the proportion of smoking in outdoor public places.

Observations of almost 5000 and adults were made at 91 sites across England, Scotland and New Zealand. The proportion of people seen smoking in British playgrounds was 2.8%, compared to 0% in New Zealand, although butts were found in the New Zealand playgrounds.

The proportion seen smoking in British streets and pedestrian areas was 7.3%, compared to 3% in New Zealand. However, 11% were smoking in New Zealand outdoor transport waiting areas, compared to 7% in Britain.

Lead researcher, Associate Professor George Thomson, says that the more widespread smokefree playground policies in New Zealand may explain the lack of people smoking in compared to Britain.

He says that the methods developed through this research will help community groups demonstrate the level of smoking in different areas, and provide scientific evidence for local authorities to advance smokefree outdoor policies. The methods can also determine the number of children exposed to smoking normalisation.

"Smokefree outdoor areas help to quit, help those who have quit to stay quit, and reduce the normalisation of smoking for children and youth. They also reduce litter, and cleaning costs for local authorities and ratepayers."

A co-researcher, Dr Marie Russell, says the results show the need for policies to protect people from the health risks of second-hand smoke in bus queues, transport shelters and other outdoor transport waiting areas.

In Australia, California, Japan and other places, there is an increasing adoption of smokefree streets by . A number of jurisdictions similarly protect people in outdoor transport waiting areas from .

This study has been published in the international journal Health & Place.

Explore further: Smoking on footpaths increases hazardous air pollutants

Related Stories

Smoking on footpaths increases hazardous air pollutants

July 9, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- A study by the University of Otago, Wellington has found that smoking on city street footpaths increases the amount of dangerous fine particulates in city air.

Children from lower-socioeconomic area more likely to be exposed to smoke in cars

December 8, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- Children from a lower socio-economic area in Wellington, Wainuiomata, are 11 times more likely to be exposed to cigarette smoking in cars than in the wealthier suburb of Karori, according to recent research.

Study examines smoking by inpatients during hospital stay

November 5, 2012
A study of smokers admitted to a large urban teaching hospital in Massachusetts found that 18.4 percent reported smoking during their hospitalization, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, ...

British government should ban smoking in cars: doctors

November 16, 2011
Britain should introduce a ban on all smoking in cars to protect people from second-hand smoke, a leading doctors' union said Wednesday.

Attitudes toward outdoor smoking ban at Moffitt Cancer Center evaluated

August 10, 2012
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center who surveyed employees and patients about a ban on outdoor smoking at the cancer center found that 86 percent of non-smokers supported the ban, as did 20 percent of the employees who were ...

Recommended for you

The role of dosage in assessing risk of hormone therapy for menopause

July 27, 2017
When it comes to assessing the risk of estrogen therapy for menopause, how the therapy is delivered—taking a pill versus wearing a patch on one's skin—doesn't affect risk or benefit, researchers at UCLA and elsewhere ...

Blowing smoke? E-cigarettes might help smokers quit

July 26, 2017
People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.