CREATIVE schoolchildren have penned a plea to smokers, urging them to keep their habit away from children’s play parks in Arun district.
Concerned pupils Alfie Francis and Isabel Adams, both 10, from the Arundel CE Primary School, are to have their, hard-hitting, anti-smoking posters displayed at parks in Littlehampton, East Preston, Arundel, Rustington and Bognor after winning a design competition arranged by Arun District Council.
About 30 primary schools in the district took part in the competition, led by Arun’s well-being team after it secured funding from the NHS, with Isabel and Alfie’s designs taking the top spots.
Isabel, who was the overall winner of the competition, with her colourful “smoking kills” design, won a £20 gift voucher.
She said: “I find it horrible to think that people are risking their lives by smoking and so I just wanted to warn people that, if they do smoke, it could kill people.”
Alfie’s design shows two parks, one bathed in blissful sunlight, with plants and flowers growing, and the other depicting a charred wasteland, filled with used cigarette butts.
He said: “I just wanted to show what could happen when people throw away their fag ends. It’s a really nasty habit.”
The pupils met Arun cabinet member for community safety Roger Elkins at Littlehampton’s Lion’s Den play park, on The Green, on Friday (March 30), where their signs are already on display.
He said: “Allowing children to design these hard-hitting posters sends out a clear message to smokers.
“As you can see from the winning designs, children have a very good understanding of the effect smoking can have on health and the environment.
“I also hope that these posters will act as a back-up for parents who might not have the courage to say something if someone is smoking around their child.”
The NHS estimates that around 4,500 children in Arun will be exposed to passive smoke, over the next two years.