News & Comment

No smoking zones "unwarranted" and "Orwellian"

Mon 26th September, 2016

Banning smoking in public parks and play areas would be "unwarranted", "Orwellian" and a "gross over-reaction" say campaigners. 

Responding to the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, which wants voluntary 'no smoking zones' to be implemented across the UK "wherever children play or learn", Simon Clark, director of Forest, said: 

"Extending the smoking ban to outdoor parks and play areas would be a gross over-reaction. 
 
"There's no evidence that a significant number of people smoke near children in outdoor areas, nor is there evidence that smoking outside is a threat to anyone else's health.
 
"Public parks are for the enjoyment of everyone, including smokers. Most smokers use their common sense when they light up. They don't need government dictating how they behave.
 
"Zoos and theme parks are usually private businesses. It should be a matter for the owner if smoking is allowed.
 
"The idea that children should be protected from the sight of someone smoking is Orwellian. Adults can't be expected to be perfect role models for other people's children. 
 
"What next? Should fat people be banned from parks and play areas in case children think obesity is normal too?
 
"Smoking rates are currently at their lowest ever level. These proposals are not just heavy-handed, they're completely unwarranted."

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