Flames fanned by smoke ban

No Smoking sign at Solaris , South Shore, Blackpool
No Smoking sign at Solaris , South Shore, Blackpool
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A BAN on smoking outdoors has prompted anger.

Blackpool Council has put signs up outside the Solaris centre on South Promenade to say smoking is prohibited in all areas of the site including the grounds.

Smoking rights campaigner Hamish Howitt has branded the move a step too far and warned people could also be banned from lighting up in other public areas in future.

He said: “The smoking ban has already killed off the pub trade. If it spreads to open spaces it will kill off tourism in a working class place like Blackpool.

“If the council is banning smoking outside, it might as well ban cars and lorries because the damage from traffic fumes is much greater.”

Mr Howitt fought through the courts in a failed bid to overturn the smoking ban at his Blackpool bar.

Earlier in the summer, Fylde Euro MP Paul Nuttall criticised the possible use of the Localism Bill by councils to extend the smoking ban to places such as parks and play areas.

In Blackpool, smoking outside is already restricted with cafes having to allocated 75 per cent of any outdoor dining area to non-smokers.

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “When the smoke free legislation was introduced in 2007 the council also implemented its own arrangements.

“The Solaris Centre is an environmental centre and the grounds are very closely connected to the buildings. Staff are unable to smoke in the area and we ask visitors to the building and park to do the same.

“The signs are there to encourage people to think about their behaviour and help to create a smoke free environment.”