Outdoor smoking ban not planned in Preston as five local authorities in England take action

Chorley Council, South Ribble Borough Council and Preston City Council have said they are not planning to ban smoking outdoors.

By Sean Gleaves
Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 4:54 pm

Northumberland, Durham, North Tyneside, Newcastle and Manchester have all banned smoking at venues where outside seating is available, and others are considering following suit.

In Gateshead, although no high-level policies have been set in place, all restaurants and bars granted sidewalk licences must be smoke-free.

Oxfordshire is also considering the move as part of plans to become the first smoke-free county by 2025, five years ahead of the government's time frame.

But Chorley Council and South Ribble Borough Council have confirmed an outdoor smoking ban is not currently in the pipeline.

"An outside smoking ban is not something currently being considered at South Ribble and Chorley Councils," a spokeswoman for Chorley Council said.

Similarly, a spokesman for Preston City Council said "it’s not something that’s currently in the works".

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Preston City Council said an outdoor smoking ban was "not something that’s currently in the works". (Image by Lukas Bieri)

An attempt to make pavements smoke-free through an amendment in the House of Lords last summer failed, but outdoor eating and drinking has given a new visibility to the issue.

The Government wants England to be smoke-free - meaning only 5 per cent of the population smokes - by 2030.

Smokers’ rights lobbying groups have hit back at councils' banning smoking outdoors.

Simon Clark, director of Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco), said: "It's no business of local councils if adults choose to smoke, and if they smoke outside during working hours that’s a matter for them and their employer not the council.

"Nor should it be the role of councillors to force smokers to quit by extending the indoor smoking ban to any outdoor area where there is no risk to non-smokers.

"Reducing smoking rates to meet some idealistic target is not a priority for most people and council policy should reflect that."

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