Manchester City Council is one of five local authorities in England to ban smoking in pavement pubs, cafes and restaurants.
Just days after it was revealed that Oxfordshire would be the first county in the UK to prohibit smoking at outdoor hospitality as part of a major strategy to make the county smoke-free by 2025, Manchester is joined by four other fellow Northern councils – North Tyneside, Durham, Newcastle and Northumberland – in including the rules in their licensing agreements for establishments applying to place table and chairs outdoors.
A sixth local authority is also highly expected to follow in due course, according to reports emerging across a number of media outlets this morning.
Smoking at many outdoor seating areas has already been prohibited in the last year due to ongoing COVID-19 regulations – but these new bans by the five local authorities would mean it’s here to stay.
It comes as part of the government’s ambitious ‘smoke-free’ plans within this decade.
Last year, a cross-party bid to ban smoking on pavements outside pubs failed in the House of Lords – but instead, the government brought forward a compromise to require pubs, cafes and restaurants in England wanting to provide outdoor seating to offer separate non-smoking areas.
Deborah Arnott – Chief Executive of ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) – said the pavement smoking bans were popular with most customers, adding: “Our surveys show that two-thirds of the public want areas outside pubs and cafes to be smoke-free.
“It is not like this is not on anyone’s radar – people complain a lot that if they go outside, they have to sit among smokers.”
Pro-smoking campaigners have said those who object should sit indoors.
In 2019, the government announced a new ambition to make England ‘smoke-free’ by 2030.
Smoke-free status is officially recognised by the government when 5% or less of an area’s population are smokers.
The interest in smoke-free pavements comes before the publication of the latest tobacco control plan by the government on 9 June, which will be debated in parliament on the following day, with campaigners hoping for tough new measures to control smoking and help people quit.
Featured Image – Flickr