Schools across the Black Country are being helped to promote a smokefree environment in and around their grounds.

Promoting smoke free environments is a Public Health priority and the Black Country Tobacco Control Alliance has developed a toolkit and signage to enable schools in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley to create smokefree zones of their own.

In doing so, they will help to protect pupils from the effects of second-hand smoke and make the act of smoking itself less visible to children.

The toolkit equips schools with the information they need to adopt or update current smokefree policies, and is also designed to be used to support the Personal Social, Health and Economic education (PSHE) curriculum as part of a whole school approach to the subject of smoking. Schools will be receiving the toolkit and signage over the coming days.

Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: "This is a great example of partnership working across the Black Country which will benefit children and young people in Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sandwell and Dudley.

"Most people already choose not to smoke at the school gates, but some do and so it's vital that we continue to send the message that children and young people should be protected from the effects of tobacco and second-hand smoke.

"We know the health and wellbeing of their pupils is a key priority for schools across the Black Country, and they are already doing a great job of educating young people about the dangers of smoking.

"By going one step further and introducing smokefree zones, they will help to further reduce the number of places that children are exposed to smoking - like the school gates - and help to ensure future generations grow up seeing smoking as something which isn't the norm."

The Black Country smokefree schools project joins other smokefree schools' initiatives and campaigns throughout the UK, including schemes in Coventry, Warrington, Hull and Barnsley. It is a collective action to complement Public Health England's aim for a smokefree generation by 2022.