Call for pub garden smoking ban

Call for pub garden smoking ban

The Royal Society for Public Health said smoking should be seen as "abnormal" and more controls are needed to cover areas where people gather.

Its report said people needing a fix of nicotine should use e-cigarettes.

The pro-smoking campaign group Forest said the measures would not work and may lead to pubs closing.

The Society argued the 2007 smoking ban inside public places had been a huge success and encouraged thousands to quit.

Its report calls for the ban "to be extended further to include school gates, the outside areas of bars and restaurants and all public parks and squares".

Unlike the original smoking ban the focus is no longer on the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Shirley Cramer, the body's chief executive, said: "Children are hugely receptive to the behaviour of the adults around them. The sight therefore of individuals smoking at prominent locations risks teaching them that smoking is a normal and safe habit.

"We believe that banning smoking in these locations via an exclusion zone could further denormalise smoking, ensuring that it is seen as an abnormal activity and potentially, prevent children and young people from beginning in the future."

The organisation also called for:

  • All places selling cigarettes to be forced to also offer e-cigarettes
  • Greater use of e-cigarettes by smoking cessation services
  • A new system to license places that can sell cigarettes
  • And for e-cigarettes to be renamed vapourisers or nicotine control products as the term was misleading

This report opens a new frontline in the battle against smoking.

Campaigners have already scored big victories with the original smoking ban and again this year with a ban on smoking in cars with children and standardised packaging for cigarettes.

Now the target is public places.

Brighton is already considering banning smoking on the beach and Bristol is trialling smoking bans in city squares

The rights of smokers are clearly in decline and leaves the question - where will it end?

By James Gallagher

BBC News, 13 August 2015

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