to hoik up my judgey pants at the parents smoking in the kids play area...

(80 Posts)
RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 16:42:58

Seriously do people really think it's acceptable to smoke in a children's playground?

She came in smoking and he is now sat on a bench puffing away on a roll up...

I'd hoped that the kids would be free from inhaling toxic smoke here!!

wonderingsoul Sat 07-Sep-13 16:43:55

you do realize there is A LOT of fresh air there so it wont actually harm them dont you?

ILetHimKeep20Quid Sat 07-Sep-13 16:47:20

Depends on the set up. Some benches away from the equipment I can't see the problem.

Graciescotland Sat 07-Sep-13 16:48:00

I`m with you; I often have to pick up cigarette ends from the sandpit before letting my kids loose, utterly ridiculous imo. I really don`t know why they can`t be outside the boundary of the play area.

TeaLadyExtraordinaire Sat 07-Sep-13 16:53:12

Hoik too high and you'll give yourself a well-deserved wedgie grin

RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 16:54:24

There's two of them so they could easily go outside the play area.i just think a place specifically for children should be smoke free....

As for fresh air so car fumes and cig smoke don't affect peoples health because there's fresh air around - really??!!!

Btw I am an ex smoker and would never have lit up in s playground....

I agree with you tbh. It's just not something that looks very nice for the kids. In the same way sat with a beer can in a play ground wouldn't look nice either. I guess it would just be nice if no one cared anywhere else, if they could just care about littering a play ground. Just let the kids have somewhere clean and safe to play.

cooeeyonlyme Sat 07-Sep-13 16:59:07

Where i live mums have been known to open a bottle of wine up and sip away while the kids play.
Nothing shocks me with some people any more.

RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 17:00:16

Tealady my pants are too big to give a wedgie wink

HeySoulSister Sat 07-Sep-13 17:01:35

'it wouldnt look nice for the kids'

lol...really,thats ridiculous.....poor little darlings cant cope with seeing that kind of thing? or a beer can?? hilarious!!

Clearly you haven't had to take your kids to parks where there's fag ends, and beer cans and vodka bottles and other general rubbish then. Cos no, it doesn't look nice. And yes they can cope but when it's at every bus stop, there's permanently crap wherever you go cos people are just filthy and can't use bins, don't you think it would just be nice for one place to be sacred. A play park? Seriously that's too much to ask??

Sirzy Sat 07-Sep-13 17:09:58

I think certain places should be smoke free and childrens play areas fall into that category. I believe some areas have already banned smoking in play areas.

Haggischucker Sat 07-Sep-13 17:35:14

Another vote for smoke free playgrounds, I personally would want limited exposure to children at all times to avoid potential health implications and also as hopefully the less people they see smoking, the less they would be tempted to try it! I grew up with 2 smoking parents and all us children smoke, I've managed to quit and would not want children to accept it as the norm sad

StephenFrySaidSo Sat 07-Sep-13 17:44:18

As a non smoker i think YABU. Its outside where there is no restriction on smoking. Its not an enclosed space where the smoke is concentrated to where the dcs are.

MinesAPintOfTea Sat 07-Sep-13 17:50:09

OTOH if a parent is a smoker then taking the children to the park means that they are smoking outside, away from the children but able to supervise them and they're having fun.

Plus as a child we always thought the parent smokers look old and haggard and called them the fag ash group. I suspect its not glorifying smoking to your DC.

WidowWadman Sat 07-Sep-13 17:52:50

"lol...really,thats ridiculous.....poor little darlings cant cope with seeing that kind of thing?"

What is ridiculous about not wanting children to see smoking as normal adult behaviour? The less exposure to smoking, the less likely they are to want to take it up themselves.

RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 17:55:00

To those who think it's acceptable - would you also be happy if teacher's were lighting up in the school playground during breaks? It's pretty much the same.

There are restrictions on smoking outside - away from public buildings, designated smoking areas outside hospitals etc. Let's face it it's pretty horrid when you walk out of a building into a haze of smoke!!

I also grew up with parents who smoked and I ended up smoking too. My Mum died at 57 from smoking related cancer so I will be doing my damnedest to make sure I deter my kids from smoking and protecting them as much as possible from second hand smoke. Parents should be setting an example to their offspring......

Surely people can cope without a fag for half an hour /hour while they watch their kids play. It's not a long time. Have one on the way. Have one on your portch or in your garden before you leave but for gods sake at least let the park be fag free.

HeySoulSister Sat 07-Sep-13 17:55:51

because its legal and it cant protect them from everything....just like people sitting with cans of beer!!

HeySoulSister Sat 07-Sep-13 17:56:32

walk past a pub and there will be people outside smoking and drinking.....cover the little darlings eyes!

Again, kids are in the park for an hour. If you can't go that hour without sitting in the park mid morning with a can of beer then no I don't think your the kind of person my kids should have to meet down the park.

StephenFrySaidSo Sat 07-Sep-13 18:04:34

So should we ban people walking up the street having a smoke incase a child sees it and thinks its normal to smoke in the street?

RoxyRobot Sat 07-Sep-13 18:05:13

Drinking a can of beer in a park may not be the greatest of example to set children but smoking there is completely unacceptable.

This annoys me almost as much as the woman the other day having a fag in the queue for the ice cream van outside the school.

HeySoulSister Sat 07-Sep-13 18:06:31

begs the question, what kind of area do you live in?

HeySoulSister Sat 07-Sep-13 18:07:43

ice cream is FULL of sugar,what on earth are they thinking with child obesity levels rising and having ice cream vans outside school??

Sparklymommy Sat 07-Sep-13 18:13:09

I am with you on this one. I grew up with a father (and subsequently, stepfather) who smoked and a mother and brother with severe asthma. My father died at 53. If its not ok to smoke in a public building then why is it ok to smoke in a play park?

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Sep-13 18:13:39

There are restrictions on smoking outside - away from public buildings, designated smoking areas outside hospitals etc

They only relate to premises/places of work.

There is no law that says you can't smoke in the open air.

I agree with smoking restrictions relating to inside buildings even though they have pretty much killed the pub industry. we all know it is unhealthy, however I think when people get outraged over an adult smoking in a public place in the open air, it has gone too far.

If the smoking is being done near enough to children for it to be blowing past their faces, fair enough, but if its just a case of them being able to see that adult smoking, the no YABU.

RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 18:26:13

Surely though Amber if we have laws in place to protect adults from exposure to smoke outside the workplace isn't it ludicrous that we don't also protect children in a designated play area - that's just ludicrous!!!!

I just think that it's extremely sad that not even the fact it's a park aimed at babies and children, is subject to any thought on what is appropriate behaviour. Or what would just be a kind thing to do.

People used to have respect for places. Churches, grave yards, parks etc now no one seems to care where they light up.

Twiceover Sat 07-Sep-13 18:32:39

Our local parks have signs up saying no smoking in the playground. I think it's good, why should kids breathe second hand smoke while they play?

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Sep-13 18:35:05

No I disagree, if that play area was enclosed, then yes. But it was in a park? or outside space, no. so as I said before, unless the smoker was standing close enough then the smoke wouldn't be anywhere near any children.

The laws about smoking inside public buildings make perfect sense, the rules not laws about smoking outside those buildings less so.

Those rules are more about PR/image than anything else and IME tend to lead to a gaggle of smokers in the nearest spot possible, which then leads to that walking into a fugg of smoke that you mention.

StephenFrySaidSo Sat 07-Sep-13 18:35:08

Why would it be disrespectful to smoke in a graveyard or outside a church? You seem to consider smoking akin to swearing at someone or having a fistfight!

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Sep-13 18:37:52

I agree that it would be ideal for that adult to smoke away from the play area, but how much difference is there in them standing inside the area or the other side of the railings a few inches away?

Because I just think that someone visiting a deceased loved one might not appreciate the fag ends littering the grounds near by.

It's not the law I know but it's just something that I never saw as a kid and now like everywhere else people don't care what they drop. I realise that it's not exclusive to just fag ends but it's stil littering even though they are small and you can tread them in a bit. And that's just not a nice thing to do.

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Sep-13 18:41:52

I really do agree with the restrictions as I think they help people to not smoke, but I find the shift in attitudes towards smoking really interesting, it is tobacco not crack, but you'd not know going by the way some people speak about it [not here necessarily, but in general] I am not denying how bad for people smoking is, but I just find the reactions of people interesting given that I grew up in a time where teachers smoked in classrooms.

WorraLiberty Sat 07-Sep-13 18:44:16

Good Lord

Unless she's walking up to children and blowing it into their faces YABU

And quite OTT

StephenFrySaidSo Sat 07-Sep-13 18:45:48

What makes you think smokers are automatically litterers??

Mrsdoasyouwouldbedoneby Sat 07-Sep-13 18:45:59

This doesn't annoy m as much as what happened to us recently. We were at an event (so lots of people). In a break lots of people were moving around but it was fairly cramped slow shuffling to get about. I realised I kept getting a lungful of smoke. Was annoyed. Then I saw the reason (unfortunately after I had complained to dh about people smoking in such a packed crowd even tho it was outside), the bloke in front of me had a cigarette which he was handily holding down by his waist. In a crowd. He brushed so close to people he could have easily burnt someone. As it was we were left to breathe in his smoke from the cigarette. Later in same crowd a couple smoking in same fashion actually brushed a buggy with cigarette. Could these people not find a space to smoke in. Fine smoke but really. Not in a crowd... Crowd was so packed there was no way someone could eater drink or anything. He could barely move his arm up to his mouth. THAT annoys me. Open space less so.

pianodoodle Sat 07-Sep-13 18:48:56

People used to have respect for places. Churches, grave yards, parks etc now no one seems to care where they light up

No. People used to smoke everywhere! Now less so.

AmberLeaf Sat 07-Sep-13 18:50:36

Yes Ive seen many a wedding photo with fags in the hands of the bridal party!

CharityFunDay Sat 07-Sep-13 18:51:19

I realised I kept getting a lungful of smoke.

I think you might be exaggerating a little.

RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 18:55:14

The problem is that someone who smokes near other people exposes them to second hand smoke which, even outside, can be harmful to their health. Someone sitting drinking a can of beer may not be pleasant to see but they are not doing something which can adversely affect the health of others (unless they're drink drive obv).

Banning smoking inside public places has made a huge difference to the amount of second hand smoke people are exposed to but I still think there is room for further improvements - designated areas for children should be top of that list because of the health implications and the poor example it sets. Let's face it smoking would probably have been banned/restricted further by now were cigarettes not such a big tax revenue earner for the Gov't.

I'm not saying ban it in all public places - although I'd be happy if it was - but have some common sense where children are concerned.

Pickle131 Sat 07-Sep-13 19:30:20

When someone smokes outside, the smoke doesn't just hang around them, it blows whichever way the breeze is travelling or just spreads outwards if it's not breezy. So second hand smoke can still be a problem. I abhor smoking in parks and outdoor seating areas if I can smell it because I know it's violating my lungs. Yes it makes me angry! YANBU at all!

CharityFunDay Sat 07-Sep-13 19:34:46

I abhor smoking in parks and outdoor seating areas if I can smell it because I know it's violating my lungs.

Do you normally worry about smells 'violating your lungs'?

If so, how do you cope with farts?

StephenFrySaidSo Sat 07-Sep-13 20:01:23

Some of you must have trouble being outside on a day to day basis. Do you ever enter the countryside an inhale a lungful of 'essence of cow' or go in a department store with it's vile mixture of aromas? Or how about the supermarket toilets with their 'spray the top of your head' air fresheners?

specialsubject Sat 07-Sep-13 20:06:46

don't mind the smell of cow, but cigarettes really stink, as do smokers.

the problem is not of course the reek, but the mess. Ash, dog ends, papers. Never seen a smoker who wasn't also a litterer.

HeySoulSister Sat 07-Sep-13 20:07:35

I think the I've cream outside school is just as damaging

pianodoodle Sat 07-Sep-13 20:10:14

I wonder what the smokers were chatting about in the playground?

Probably something interesting wink

morethanpotatoprints Sat 07-Sep-13 20:13:29


If you smoked yourself it may suppress your appetite then your pants wouldn't be too big to give you a wedgie.

FFs, loads of people smoke in play area, yes I do myself.
It is fresh air, away from dc as I am sitting on a bench in the middle of a park. There are no NO smoking signs.

FlusteredFairy Sat 07-Sep-13 20:26:46

Personally I think it depends if you're smoking where people have to walk past to get in or out of the play area. That's not on really.

Also a little bit selfish to smoke on a bench if there's only one seating area near the play area.

It would be easier if councils just put no smoking signs up in the park but the ones outside our local hospital get ignored so maybe they think no-one would obey them.

monkeybuts Sat 07-Sep-13 20:26:57

I would leave a park if someone was really so inconsiderate to begin smoking- Why should my child and I have to even smell let alone risk breathing in your disgusting habit.. Its no good for anyone. .wanna damage your own body? go ahead. .But I don't see why the rest of us should have to put up with the smell and second hand smoke disturbing the fresh air we seek at a park.

monkeybuts Sat 07-Sep-13 20:30:40

Yes. I can taste my judgy pants.

Shakey1500 Sat 07-Sep-13 20:31:53

Agree with Amber.

There's a serious amount of misplaced mass hysteria about smoking now. hmm

Celadorthepinksequineddragon Sat 07-Sep-13 20:32:20

I agree with you OP, a children's play area isn't the place for smoking. Adults exercise a choice to smoke and that is their right - children do not, yet may have to breath in second hand smoke. I would also imagine that there would be cigarette ends left that would need to be cleared up.

I can't quite see the connection between cigarette smoke and ice cream vans either grin.

RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 20:44:21

morethan just because lots of people do it doesn't make it right.....Your smoke travels beyond you and others breathe it in but I guess if you aren't bothered about your own health then you won't care about affecting others.

I was a smoker, I gave up after nursing my mother who died from a horrible, painful and degrading illness at 57 caused by smoking. Think about that when you are next puffing away near children.....

Same goes for those who see it as hysteria

pianodoodle Sat 07-Sep-13 20:46:48

But I don't see why the rest of us should have to put up with the smell and second hand smoke disturbing the fresh air we seek at a park

It doesn't have to be second hand you can always buy your own grin

RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 20:47:45

and morethan my pants are big for comfort not size so I won't be taking up smoking to lose weight - is that why you do it? A bit drastic to kill yourself to keep slim.......!

unlucky83 Sat 07-Sep-13 20:48:42

Gosh The anti smoking campaign has worked hasn't it ...
Lots of people grew up where the parents smoked in the house, doctors smoked in the surgery, people smoked in the cinema, theatre, pub, shops, on buses, trains etc etc
If second hand smoke was sooooooo dangerous most people over 50 would be dead now - life expectancy wouldn't be increasing...(in fact didn't the oldest women in the world at one point - 123 yo I think... smoke!) The risk to your DC inhaling a whiff of smoke in a public place is absolutely miniscule...
If you are concerned about something so minor ...I guess you also don't take your children to bonfires/firework displays? Not go to/have BBQs?
None of those chimera things in the garden? no woodburner/real fire in your houses? Never allow your DC to go to a guide/scout camp where they cook on real fires and come home stinking...
Your energy would be better spent worrying about the chemicals you use around the home...air fresheners, 'lemon fresh' cleaning sprays, fabric conditioners/washing powders that boast their fragrance remains on the clothes for weeks...or is released when you move...(and not even mentioning traffic pollution...)
The biggest danger to DCs now is the fact that the attitude is so anti - if they decide to rebel at all they are likely to start smoking - seeing as that is likely soon to be considered more outrageous than a smack/crack habit!

Boomba Sat 07-Sep-13 20:50:55

Someone sitting drinking a can of beer may not be pleasant to see



My dd is asthmatic. Now we have worked really hard to keep her as healthy as possible. It' changed everything. We have fallen out with family in our bid to keep her safe from avoidable cigarette smoke. And its worked, she is sooo much better than she was but its not been easy. So yes maybe I am a bit hysterical but I would do anything to not go back to the days where nurses had to pin her down to administer medication. I realise its everywhere and I can't tell people what to do but I don't think it's unreasonable to hope to god that at a KIDS park people might be able to hold out for half an hour. It may seem like nothing to some but perhaps it's not been your child hospitalised with breathing difficulties and perhaps your lucky enough for it to not have to be a concern for you. Bit not everyone is that lucky.

schmee Sat 07-Sep-13 20:59:53

I would have felt the same as you OP and was really surprised to see someone smoking in our (relatively naice) playground the other day. I think it's just social conditioning though as it wasn't doing any real harm - certainly less than car fumes on the high street.

Where I used to live in a very naice area you would have got lynched for smoking in the playground, although it was the norm for mums to drink wine from about 4pm whether in the "child friendly" cafes by the playgrounds, or at each other's houses. Just the norms for that particular group.

And actually I think it was probably all a lot happier in the 70s when people didn't spend all their time trying to protect their children from every vice in the world. I'd love to be able to spark up a Silk Cut and tuck into a martini while the kids played rather than trying to wrangle them into bed early so that I can.

Wuxiapian Sat 07-Sep-13 21:08:34


They are, after all, the most selfish people on the planet.

schmee Sat 07-Sep-13 21:11:39

Wuxiaplan - along with car drivers, people who have log fires, etc etc

RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 21:13:34

So unlucky are you disputing the nunerous studies and medical evidence that smoking and second hand smoke cause cancer? It's rather different to the other examples you list and most people aren't wafting around cans of air freshener at the playground which is the point of my post.

I try and avoid unnecessary chemicals, keep away from heavy traffic areas as much as possible and take my kids to the park for fresh air and exercise - not to expose them to toxic pollutants from selfish people who are so addicted to nicotine they cant survive for half an hour without a fag.

Anyone who thinks smoking around kids is ok is seriously deluded. ....and probably a smoker!!!

unlucky83 Sat 07-Sep-13 21:16:45

Wheres my caffeine - I sympathise I really do
But would your DC get an asthma attack from a single whiff?
I know someone -actually two people - with asthma who smoke occasionally -not the cleverest thing in the world -but there you go..
Actually my grandmother had asthma -and lived with my cigarette smoking grandad ...probably didn't do her any good -but she did outlive him.
Don't get me wrong I do think smoking is a stupid, disgusting habit ...but I am serious that I believe the biggest danger to our DCs is being too anti and hysterical about it ...

RachelHRD Sat 07-Sep-13 21:17:43

schmee vehicles are a necessary evil in this day and age, log fires provide essential heat - what is necessary about smoking??

roseblanche Sat 07-Sep-13 21:19:53

I remember going to Disney in LA years ago. I acknowledged that it was a 'no smoking facility' apart from a very few designated areas. These areas were few and far between, i.e about 4 in the corners of the park. After 2 hours I found a 'designated area' Please bear in mind these are all OUTSIDE i.e in the fresh air areas. Bizzarely enough, all 4 areas (in the gazillion acre park) were just outside the loos...
So, having searched and found the one of only four areas where I am alloed to smoke, I eventually puffed on my gasper. I was immediately set upon by a family, who were sitting on the only bench in the only smoking area for miles. 'Gee I hope you aint gonna smoke here?' they cried. I sure am, said I. But ''we have a child with us' Well feck off then replied I.
So I have to seek out an area in which to smoke OUTSIDE and they want to be there first!!!

HeySoulSister Sat 07-Sep-13 21:20:03

The ice cream vans outside schools??

Well. The nhs suffers wirh smoking related illnesses AND weight related. I think these are the 2 biggest killers

Childhood obesity is rocketing

So why bother keeping your child away from second hand smoke if you are goin to stuff them with ice cream??

People don't smoke at school
But an ice cream van is acceptable?

Celadorthepinksequineddragon Sat 07-Sep-13 21:26:51

HeySoulSister, I completely see your point re obesity but you've gone off on a tangent. The OP hasn't mentioned ice cream in any context.

The difference is that parents can exercise a choice to give their child an ice cream or not - they can't with second hand smoke, that element of choice is taken from them.

Never heard of any ill effects from inhalation of second hand ice cream either grin.

Honestly I don't know probably not but I don't want to find out what the limits are tbh. We are lucky she hasn't been hospitalised in three years now and as the months go by it seems to be getting better, but not a day goes past where I don't think of what the safest bus to get would be so we weren't waiting to long by roads or in the station, which stop would be best and cleaner or weigh up times and ways to go as to minimise exposure i know that sounds crazy and most of it is unavoidable. But sometimes it would just be nice to be able to take my kids out to somewhere like a park for some fresh air and exercise and not be confronted with it. Is that really so unreasonable of me to think that a park should be clean.

Sirzy Sat 07-Sep-13 21:39:43

My sons asthma has been triggered by walking behind someone smoking for just a very short while (until we were able to detour). Unfortunately smoke is one of the triggers he is very sensitive too which is a pain as it is so hard to avoid but it would be nice if play grounds were a safe place1

HeffalumpTheFlump Sat 07-Sep-13 21:42:23

I'm an ex smoker since falling pregnant. My only problem with people smoking near me now is the possible effects on my unborn baby. For this reason I can completely see where the op is coming from. I am not at all bothered by smokers smoking in open areas, but an area specifically for children is a bit different in my eyes. I wouldn't want my little girl to be breathing it in while she was playing.

It really interests me that there is often quite a lot of hostility on here towards people who do not like cigarette smoke. A pp said, "*Gosh The anti smoking campaign has worked hasn't it*" as if that is a bad thing and that baffles me to be honest. Surely it is a very good thing that public opinion of a cancer causing habit is changing to be in general more negative?

I would hope that none of the posters who think the op is bu would want their children to start smoking, and it's this shift in attitude which will hopefully stop them from doing so. I can't see why it would be seen as a bad thing to view smoking as unpleasant.

dogindisguise Sat 07-Sep-13 21:43:34

I hate smoking, especially around children. Some of the play areas I go to have no-smoking signs on the gate at the entrance - not that anyone takes much notice of them, as there are usually plenty of beer bottles around.

everlong Sat 07-Sep-13 21:45:33

I think it's reasonable for folk not to smoke in a playground tbh.

Thurlow Sat 07-Sep-13 21:48:58

I'm a smoker. I think some of the concerns people have about second-hand smoke is sometimes OTT. My toddler sees me smoke sometimes, I have smoked in the garden when she's playing for example.

But I still think the OP is NBU. It's a kids play park, FGS. At least stand outside if you're desperate. Smoke on the way there if you must.

It is my decision about how I am with my DC. I wouldn't inflict my choice of smoking and doing it occasionally around my DC on anyone else's DC.

hazeyjane Sat 07-Sep-13 21:49:29

I was pushing ds in a swing last week, and a man came over to talk to the woman next to me who was pushing her dd. The man was smoking and so I hoiked ds out. Now I think about it, and read this thread, I am annoyed that I didn't say something to him, because it is a kid's play area, of course people shouldn't smoke!

BaldHedgehog Sat 07-Sep-13 22:01:25

I'm not bothered about smoking,it's cig butts on the ground that drive me insane.DS is 15mo and 1st thing he'll pick up from the ground will be fag end.If he puts it into his mouth...

Think people,think(and I say that as an ex smoker),there's a bin at the fence, just move your lazy arse

unlucky83 Sat 07-Sep-13 22:07:51

Heffa - not saying a shift change in attitude towards smoking is a bad thing -
Not saying that people should smoke on play parks..
What I am saying that if you make it too illicit you will make it attractive to the very part of the population that we really don't want to start smoking ...
A tiny whiff of smoke as a one off is not going to do (most) DCs any harm ... less harm than lots of other things that they breathe in ...and seeing people looking anything but cool smoking is also good thing...
Hysteria about it is not - look at the talk to Frank about other drugs - tell them the absolute truth ... you tell teenagers that a single snort of coke is going to kill them - they see that it doesn't - so they don't believe the facts ...if that makes sense...
Tell them that a single whiff of smoke is going to hurt them ....and then they see/hear about a 90 yo who smokes 40 a day....and they will find the facts less hard to believe...

Our local park has recently been refurbished. Including signs saying not to smoke in front of young minds and lungs.

I agree. I hate it.

scarlettsmummy2 Sat 07-Sep-13 23:31:28

I don't think there should be smoking in playgrounds. I can honestly say that my four year old has no concept of smoking as no one in our social group or families smokes, and as restaurants are now smoke free she has never been around strangers smoking.

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