Cumbrian councils are being asked to make playgrounds smoke-free in a bid to reduce smoking rates.
Cumbria's Health and Wellbeing Board (HWB) is to seek support from district councils and housing providers for the policy as smoking remains the single biggest cause of preventable death in Cumbria. It wants an outright ban and no smoking signs put up in playgrounds.
The board is chaired by Cumbria County Council’s cabinet member for adult and local services councillor Beth Furneaux who said: "This is an important step in reducing smoking rates. This should be seen as 'nipping the problem in the bud' instead of dealing with the smoking issue once it's already taken hold.
"We're concentrating on smoking for one very good reason – it is still the number one source of premature deaths in deprived areas and I want us to do all we can to stop that."
Cabinet member for public health councillor Patricia Bell said: "This could play a significant role in improving the health of our future generations.
"We do have a problem with high numbers of smokers in some areas of the county. Smoking has become less visible over the last few years and a potential ban in play areas will prove to young people that their health is our priority."
A survey in 2011 found that 70 per cent of Cumbrians would support a smoking ban in children’s play areas.
The Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Board includes representatives from the NHS, district councils, Cumbria Association of Local Councils, the Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, the third sector, and the county council.