News & Comment

Forest condemns move to ban smoking outside pubs and cafes

Mon 13th July, 2020

A move to ban smoking outside pubs, restaurants and cafes has been described as "gross opportunism".

According to reports, the government is being urged by a cross party group of peers to require pubs and cafes to ban outdoor smoking if they want a licence to serve 'pavement drinks'. 

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: 

"This is gross opportunism by a small group of anti-smoking peers who have spotted a chance to advance their extreme anti-smoking agenda.

"There is no evidence that smoking in the open air is a threat to public health so this is a matter for individual businesses, not government or local authorities.

"In the wake of lockdown, pubs, restaurants and cafes already face huge challenges. 

"This is the worst possible time to add to their burden by imposing further regulations that could discourage a lot of smokers from returning."

Urging the hospitality industry to fight the proposal, Clark added:

"The smoking ban had a huge impact on the pub sector and was a significant factor in thousands of pubs closing after it was introduced in 2007.

"Although many smokers reluctantly adapted to the ban, banning smoking outside could be the final straw.

"The hospitality industry needs to issue a firm response and reject additional government interference on an issue that should be a matter for individual proprietors."

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