Smokers Face Ban from Outdoor Areas of Pubs and Restaurants


Major Rule Change Pushed by Councillors

Councillors are demanding a crackdown on smoking in pavement seating areas outside pubs and restaurants. They are urging ministers to implement a nationwide ban in these spaces to support current smokers in quitting and prevent young people from taking up the habit.

Al Fresco Trend Increases the Need for Action

The popularity of outdoor dining and drinking expanded during the pandemic, leading many establishments to continue offering pavement seating. While some areas already have restrictions on smoking in these spaces, local councils have the power to make them entirely smoke-free.

Calls for a National Smoke-Free Edict

In a letter to Health Secretary Steve Barclay and Communities Secretary Michael Gove, councillors from 16 London authorities are seeking a national smoke-free pavement seating mandate. They argue that current bureaucracy prevents many councils from implementing an al fresco smoking ban. This comes ahead of a Parliamentary vote on the issue.

Support for the Ban

In support of the ban, Cllr Jim Dickson, Joint Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities at Lambeth Council, highlighted the burden smoking places on deprived communities and the substantial economic and healthcare costs it incurs. Lord Young of Cookham has also tabled an amendment to the Levelling Up Bill to introduce the ban, stating that there is public consensus on the need for cigarette smoke-free outdoor areas.

Government's Commitment to a Smoke-Free England

The government has pledged to make England "smokefree" by 2030, with fewer than 5% of the population using cigarettes. Ministers are currently evaluating the recommendations from a smoking review conducted by Dr. Javed Khan.

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