Concerned pupils have written a letter to parents in an attempt to stop them smoking at the school gates.

Year Six pupils at King Charles School in Falmouth, Cornwall, told parents and carers they were setting a "bad example to young children".

"As you may know, smoke is not healthy to inhale and it is not a pleasant smell," the pupils wrote in the Church of England primary school's newsletter.

"We would really appreciate it if you could take pupils into account before lighting your cigarette around school property."

The letter, titled "anti smoking request", was signed by headteacher Heather Taylor and "Y6 pupils".

Taylor told local paper the West Briton she was "proud" of the children for taking such a strong, independent approach. "I am glad they know they can approach me and they have a real contribution to make to the school." she said.

The government spends millions on anti-smoking campaigns and has recently raised the legal age to purchase cigarettes to 18 but it is estimated smoking is still the biggest preventable cause of death in England, causing 80,000 premature deaths annually.

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