Smoking ban

Government rules out smoking ban extension

By Oli Gross

- Last updated on GMT

The Government has ruled out any changes to smoking legislation
The Government has ruled out any changes to smoking legislation

Related tags Smoking ban

There is “no plan” to extend the public smoking ban to pub gardens, the Department of Health has told the PMA.

There there will not even be a consultation on the proposals set out in a report by the Royal Society of Public Health.

The Society concluded smoking should be illegal in beer gardens, children’s playgrounds, al-fresco dining areas, parks, squares and outside school gates.

The aim is to denormalise and reduce the convenience of smoking, encouraging smokers to quit.

No need

The British Beer and Pub Association said there was no need for change as the current law works well, and protects staff and customers from second-hand smoke.

Pro-smoking group Forest said the ban could lead to pubs closing. Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: “Banning smoking outside pubs and bars would discriminate against adults who enjoy smoking.”

Support for proposal

The RSPH backed up its proposal with research finding that in the year following the smoking ban 400,000 people gave up smoking.

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 report states that the introduction of a smoking ban for all enclosed public places in 2007 was a “landmark in government interventions to reduce smoking levels, reducing the public’s exposure to harmful second-hand smoke, and acting as a catalyst for many smokers to ‘kick the habit’”.

It also suggests that 'vaping' is a credible way to help smokers quit.

The Welsh Government plans to give powers to ministers to outlaw smoking in extra public spaces, such as children’s playgrounds, which could affect beer gardens.

Related topics Legislation Health & safety

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