SMOKING would be banned from all pavement seating outside pubs and restaurants under a crackdown demanded by councillors.
Ministers are being urged to make the spaces cigarette-free to help existing smokers kick the habit and stop kids taking it up.Smokers should be banned from pavement areas outside pubs, councillors demand[/caption]
Al freso drinking and dining ballooned during the pandemic and their huge popularity has seen many venues keep them in place.
While bosses must make some pavement seating smokefree, it is up to local councils to make them totally fag-less.
But in a letter to Health Secretary Steve Barclay and Communities Secretary Michael Gove, councillors representing 16 London authorities urge them to introduce a national smokefree edict.
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They say current bureaucracy stops many town halls imposing an al fresco smoking ban and made the push ahead of a Parliamentary vote on the issue.
Cllr Jim Dickson, Joint Cabinet Member for Healthier Communities at Lambeth Council said: “Smoking places a major burden on many of our most deprived communities and costs our city £3billion every year in lost economic productivity and health and social care costs.
“London councils are committed to taking action to make our city smokefree, but we can’t do it alone.
“The government should seize this opportunity to introduce national smokefree pavement seating to improve the health of Londoners and people across the country.”
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Lord Young of Cookham has tabled an amendment to the Levelling Up Bill that would introduce the ban.
He said: “There is a clear consensus among the public that outdoor eating and drinking areas should be free from cigarette smoke.
“This is also much more practical for businesses and councils who want clear rules that are straightforward to communicate.
“A national smokefree pavement licence condition would protect public health, particularly child health, while cutting red tape for councils.”
The Government is committed to making England “smokefree” by 2030, meaning fewer than 5 per cent of the public using cigarettes.
Ministers are currently considering the recommendations of a review into smoking by Dr Javed Khan.