Smoking Ban Should be Extended to Pub Gardens, Says Health Watchdog

By Gary Cutlack on at

The Royal Society for Public Health would like us to extend the exclusion zone that currently exists around any hardcore smokers that still exist in the UK, suggesting that the ban on smoking in public spaces should be extended to include outdoor spots where people congregate too, like parks, pub gardens, school gates and more.

The RSPH wants smoking to be considered more of an abnormal activity than ever, particularly when sucking on the old fashioned burning type, saying that we should be encouraging the use of ecigs and treating them differently due to their supposed/alleged lower health impacts. The NHS should encourage smokers to switch to ecigs as a first step in binning the habit, says the society, with a possible ban on smoking outside pubs expected to encourage smokers to switch to electronic cigarettes.

We should rebrand the smoking problem into one of nicotine addiction, says the society, which suggests that we start thinking of nicotine as we do caffeine -- an occasionally nice thing that if consumed responsibly isn't bad for our health. That said, it says we should license all cigarette sellers, so they can have their ability to sell traditional cigarettes pulled if caught selling them to 13-years-olds.

Shirley Cramer, the chief exec of RSPH, said: "Getting people onto nicotine rather than using tobacco would make a big difference to the public’s health – clearly there are issues in terms of having smokers addicted to nicotine, but this would move us on from having a serious and costly public health issue from smoking related disease to instead address the issue of addiction to a substance which in and of itself is not too dissimilar to caffeine addiction." [RSPH via BBC]

Image credit: Pub garden from Shutterstock