The crackdown on those people who enjoy the pleasures of a smoke continues; smokers are very aware of the ban on smoking in public places such as restaurants and pubs. Some smokers actually agree that enjoying a cigarette, pipe or cigar after a meal, whilst being a wonderful experience to them, can cause discomfort to others who may still be eating.
However, authorities in the Sussex seaside resort of Brighton and nearby Hove are taking things a step further, which is a step too far in many peoples estimation. This time they are proposing that cafes, restaurants and pubs with outside eating areas will be asked to consider introducing a voluntary smoking ban and it is all part of a move by city council and NHS bosses in Brighton and Hove to help reduce the impact of smoking in the city.
This move follows on from a consultation that was run by the council in 2015, asking people for their views about smoking in public spaces outside. A majority of those people who were asked supported the idea of banning smoking in those restaurants and pubs with outdoor seating, which they suggested should be smoke free. The other suggestion that smoking should be banned in parks and on the beaches was thrown out, respondents to the survey considered that it was anti-social to smoke where people are eating and drinking.
Already moves are afoot to begin the ban and following interviews conducted on twelve businesses, including cafés, restaurants and pubs from the North Laine, Brighton Marina and city park areas, ten have indicated that they support the idea.
The suggestion is a voluntary one and unlike the national ban on smoking in public places indoors, there is no legislation to impose a ban on outdoor areas, but because the concept is entirely voluntary, many business owners are very sceptical and some are concerned that they could lose loyal customers. One business owner already asks smokers not to smoke near children and to move away if any were near.
Brighton’s Pavilion Gardens Café is run by David Sewell, in a comment he said that although he had never smoked in his life, you must be aware of what the customers want, for example if it was a blanket ban and not a voluntary arrangement it would be easier to enforce it. For example, he went on, “If every café decided to introduce a ban then we would follow suit but if you are on your own then it could lead to you losing customers who come every day. You either say no smoking at all, or in this case ask them to use their common sense.”
Needless to say the proposal had a mixed reaction from people in the seaside resort, as you may expect, because the majority now appear to be non-smokers, most comments are in favour of the proposal, but it also has brought out the usual comments that are not related in any way to smoking, such as tables on pavements. But one cynic has retorted by saying: “Yes, we must protect people from a small amount of cigarette smoke whilst totally ignoring the masses of toxic diesel fumes belching out of the buses, taxis, vans and lorries in the city centre.”