Street smoke ban unlikely in Blackpool

St John's Square in Blackpool
St John's Square in Blackpool
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BLACKPOOL looks unlikely to follow New York in banning smokers from lighting up outdoors.

The US city announced its latest anti-smoking measures earlier this year covering public golf courses and sports grounds as well as plazas like Herald Square.

Now it is believed some UK towns could follow suit – making use of the Localism Bill to extend the ban on indoor smoking to places such as parks and play areas.

But Coun Norman Hardy, chairman of Blackpool Council’s licensing committee, said he believed such a policy would be unenforceable.

He said: “I have heard this is being suggested in some towns, but as far as I’m aware it’s not on the agenda here in Blackpool.

“I’m an ex-smoker myself, but I just can’t see how smoking in the open air can necessarily be detrimental to non-smokers.

“That’s more anti-smoking then pro clean air.

“I don’t see how you can really enforce an open air policy.”

However smoking is restricted in outdoor dining areas attached to resort cafes.

New street cafe licences introduced by Blackpool Council in April 2010 require 75 per cent of any outdoor area to be allocated to non-smokers.

Calls have been made in Cumbria to ban smoking in playgrounds, while the move is also being considered in Buckinghamshire.

But Fylde Euro MP Paul Nuttall has criticised the move.

He said: “We have already seen the dreadful impact the smoking ban has had on the pub trade resulting in hundreds of pubs across the country shutting down.

“If this idea becomes reality it will mean no more going out for a walk and having a smoke.

“I do not believe there is any evidence to show anyone, young or old, has been adversely affected by second hand smoke in the open air.

“Education is needed to deter people from smoking – not heavy handed rules from bureaucrats who want to dictate every aspect of our lives.

“And the overweight better watch out.

“They’ll be after you next and eating in the street will be next thing on the agenda to be banned.”