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Wales’ Leading Youth Festival First to Go Smokefree, 12/04/17 [W]

There will be no smoking at this summer’s Urdd National Eisteddfod in support of a campaign to make Wales smokefree.

The youth event, taking place in Pencoed at the end of May, is the first major event in Wales to join tobacco control action group ASH Wales Cymru’s Smokefree Summer campaign.

The Urdd, one of Europe’s largest youth festivals, has signed up to be smokefree to promote a clean and healthy environment for the festival goers.

The ban will cover the entire Eisteddfod site for the 6-day event – including the famous Maes and pavilion – which is attended by 90,000 visitors and 15,000 young competitors annually.

With more and more spaces becoming no smoking areas, ASH is calling on event organisers and visitor attractions across Wales to join the campaign and go smokefree.

Research shows young people are highly influenced by others smoking around them. Children with a parent who smokes are 70% more likely to take up the habit. Almost half of long-term smokers begin smoking before leaving high school and, among children who try smoking, around a third become regular smokers within 3 years.

To celebrate today’s announcement, ASH Wales’ youth project The Filter is running an online competition, supported by the Urdd, encouraging young people to submit photos of anything red, white or green. The top entry will win tickets to the Eisteddfod and a family trip to a Welsh theme park.

ASH Wales’ Campaign Organiser, Adele Pember, said: “We want children to see less smoke in the world around them. The more events that become smokefree, the less likely children are to see and therefore take up smoking – it is a deadly addiction that still kills one in two long-term users.

“Our campaign to make children’s playgrounds smokefree has been a huge success with every council in Wales banning smoking in those areas. Making family attractions and youth events smokefree is the next step in journey to protecting the next generation from smoke. We are delighted to have the Urdd Eisteddfod on board to expand and continue this crucial work. These events and attractions, including the Tafwyl festival which will also be smokefree, will create a much more pleasant environment for everyone and especially for the thousands of children and young people who visit them daily.”

Urdd Eisteddfod Organiser, Morys Gruffudd, added: “We are proud to be the first major festival in Wales to go smokefree.  It’s a family-friendly festival with over 90,000 visiting during the week, and it feels only appropriate that we place a smoking ban for the whole site so that we can offer a clean and healthy environment.

“Within the 20-acre festival site we have the competing pavilion, a funfair and around 80 stalls selling all sorts from jewellery and clothes to picnic tables and trailers.  There is also an activity field with a climbing wall, quad bikes, trampolines and various workshops as well as live bands performing in the food arena. It’s great that we can offer all this in a smokefree environment.”

The Urdd National Eisteddfod takes place between Monday 29th May to Saturday 3rd June in Pencoed, near Bridgend and early bird tickets are available now.