School fencing in Nottingham will now be a smoke-free area as the local authority becomes the first in the East Midlands to protect children from the effects of smoking.

Parents are being encouraged to give up the habit, especially around school gates and playgrounds, through the new programme.

The rules cannot be enforced by law, but Nottingham City Council hopes that people will nevertheless be supportive of the plans.

Smoke-free signs have been installed in all playgrounds belonging to the council, while primary schools will be able to display them at their gates.

Councillor Eunice Campbell, from Nottingham City Council, said: "Parents do not want their children to be exposed to smoking or to take up the habit. We hope that they will support this initiative."

Pro-smoking group Forest, however, has been less supportive of the plans, saying that adults should not be told how to behave by their local council.

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