A new campaign has been launched by Limerick City and County Council and Healthy Limerick to promote a Tobacco-Free society and encourage those who smoke to get help to quit.
Launched to coincide with World No Tobacco Day (Fri 31 May), Not Around Us is about promoting an environment where it is easier for those who smoke to quit and remain smoke free and helping to de-normalise smoking for the next generation.
Not Around Us is another step Towards a Tobacco Free Limerick. It is about supporting Chapter 7 of Tobacco Free Ireland: denormalisation of smoking and protection of children and young people.
Limerick City and County Council is leading this initiative in partnership with a range of stakeholders - HSE, Limerick Comhairle na nÓg, Limerick Children and Young People’s Services Committee, Limerick Childcare Committee, Healthy Ireland and ASH Ireland, Council of the Irish Heart Foundation.
The purpose of Not Around Us is to:
- Help protect children and young people from second hand smoke exposure
- Contribute to the denormalisation of smoking for children and young people
- Reduce environmental nuisance, cost of cleaning and damage that discarded tobacco products create
- Signpost the HSE Quit services
A suite of signs that can be used in different settings (eg. at school gates, in a playground, designated areas at festivals or at a sports club) is being created. As part of the initial phase of the campaign, signage will be erected at Limerick City and County Council-run playgrounds and offered to interested community playgrounds and other interested services/ organisations in the short-term.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins said: “Limerick City and County Council is delighted to be fulfilling our commitment to Healthy Ireland. We are working with a range of public and community organisations, as well as schools and early years services across Limerick to protect the health and wellbeing, not only of our children, but also of our older citizens of the future. Limerick City and County Council is leading the way by upgrading the signage in support of Tobacco Free Ireland in all its own playgrounds. We are inviting schools, early years services and not for profit organisations in Limerick to display the same Not Around Us signage in outside places and spaces where children and young people are likely to be. Subject to funding and availability, the professionally designed and produced signage is available free of charge to eligible groups and organisations."
Minister for Health Promotion, Catherine Byrne TD said: “I congratulate all involved in Limerick’s Not Around Us initiative. Ireland has shown strong leadership on tobacco control, and community-led initiatives such as this play a crucial part in driving the cultural shift that is still needed to reduce the number of smokers and to achieve our goal of Ireland being Tobacco Free by 2025. These initiatives are at the heart of Healthy Ireland and are vital to improving the long-term health of everyone living and working in all our communities across the country.”
Martina Blake, National Tobacco Free Ireland Programme Lead said: “I would like to commend and congratulate all the partners working together in Limerick to help bring about tobacco free spaces for all to enjoy. We know from the research that tobacco free outdoor areas help to raise the public’s awareness about the risks of smoking and second hand smoke, it encourages smokers to think about quitting and provides a space which supports those who are trying to quit to stay quit. “
“Tobacco Free Ireland has a clear goal to denormalise smoking for the next generation of children which supports the overall vision of Healthy Ireland. We know children model adult behaviour. Tobacco Free Limerick will help ensure the children of Limerick see and experience a positive healthy environment as the norm. Quitting can be difficult for some, but there are a wide range of effective supports available to help you to QUIT and thousands are successful in quitting each year. Using our supports will help double your chances of success. You can contact HSE quit services on quit.ie or our free national QUIT helpline 1800 201 203.”
Eoin Coughlan, Limerick Comhairle na nÓg Chairperson added: “Limerick Comhairle na nÓg are delighted to be supporting Tobacco Free Limerick. It has been great discussing this vision for a healthier Limerick at our meetings and attending planning meetings. Seeing adults appreciating and acting on the opinions of Limerick's Young People as equals in this vision of a better Limerick for all is fantastic. Tobacco Free Limerick is not just about adults quitting smoking in Limerick, what it is about for us is community empowerment, respect and creating a culture support, caring for yourself and those around you. We think all of this will make our beautiful City and County a better place for those young, those older, and those still young at heart."