Five councils in England are set to ban outdoor smoking.
Smoking in beer gardens has been a touchy subject for quite some time. It’s long been a compromise for smokers since the ban on using cigarettes indoors back in 2007 – but whether you’re on board or not, Manchester City Council is reportedly set to ban smoking in public spaces altogether, meaning there’ll be new restrictions in places such as beer gardens and outdoor terraces.
It’s a move that the council also made last summer upon the introduction of Manchester’s new alfresco dining terraces, and one that’s set to go permanent following the news that Oxfordshire County Council would be aiming to go smoke-free by 2025.
Joining councils in Newcastle, Durham County, Northumberland and North Tyneside, the new restrictions will be placed on both hospitality premises and places of work – meaning fewer places in Manchester City will be smoke-permitting in the near future, according to The Guardian.
The new bans come as the Government continues its work to make England ‘smoke-free’ by 2030 – with a goal of having a smoker population of 5% or less.
Speaking of last summer’s ban, Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, the executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “The introduction of outside seating for the hospitality sector has been a positive step over the past few weeks. We are seeing the public enjoy a degree of normality, and we are also seeing our businesses pick up following the devastating impact of the lockdown. Many have fed back that the additional provision has saved their business.
“However, we have not endured one health crisis to sleepwalk into another. We know that in Manchester there are still too many people smoking and we want to play our part to ensure that the city is a place where smoking is not a cultural norm.
“Smoking is not only terrible for our health but is also an unpleasant thing for bystanders to endure. I am sure that after months inside the last thing people want is a face full of smoke when trying to enjoy a meal or drink.
“It should be said that progress is being made although slower than we’d like to see. Between 2017 and 2019 the number of people aged 18 and over who smoked fell from 22% to 18%. But, this is still too far off the national average of 13%. We want to get to this target, and decrease it still further.”