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‘If you ban smoking in London pub gardens, banning alcohol will be next – don’t wish our culture away’ – Claire Hubble


While some Londoners welcomed the chance to get pleasure from a freshly pulled pint and a cigarette in their native, others who had managed to keep away from cigarette smoke all through lockdown will have discovered the cigarettes a nuisance.

A current examine discovered that, 1 in 5 ex-people who smoke agreed a ban on smoking on pub premises, together with pub gardens and outside seating would assist them stop the behavior for good.

The findings, courtesy of Quitting Smoking for Mental Health, got here as pubs, eating places, cafes and bars reopened with outside seating areas for the primary time since December.

With this in thoughts, we requested readers on our South London and West London pages whether or not they would assist a ban on smoking in pubs and so they had been divided in opinion. Here’s what our readers advised My London.

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“I would favor to eat and drink outdoors in high quality climate with out being surrounded by nicotine addicts.”

“I often smoke, I believe whereas Covid is a factor it’d be a good suggestion,” mentioned Tom Jones. “It’s principally simply respiratory out particles and smoke as properly. I’ve seen some native pubs use very small areas as beer gardens so if you have a bunch of individuals exhaling on a regular basis it is kind of asking for hassle actually.”

Similarly, smoker Vicki Love mentioned: “Yes.”

“Respect to people who don’t smoke,” she added. “Give us a nook or a huddle, we will be high quality.”

Also in assist of a ban was Lakvinder Singh. She wrote, “One smoker may actually stink out an entire pub backyard.”

Looking throughout the pond for inspiration, Mark Phillips praised New Zealand’s perspective to smoking.

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“New Zealand has the best thought, banning it progressively,” he mentioned. “As a non smoker I would favor to eat and drink outdoors in high quality climate with out being surrounded by nicotine addicts.”

Others drew consideration to the detrimental results smoking has on well being.

Laurel Evans mentioned: “As somebody who has simply misplaced a a lot beloved husband, father and grandfather due to coronary heart and lung issues attributable to smoking I say ban it full cease.”

Others made the case for smoking areas the place individuals can get pleasure from a cigarette with out inflicting secondhand smoke on surrounding pub-goers.

Tania Kinsey argued: “If you select to smoke, you can select to take a seat in a smoking part and nonetheless benefit from the social points of a while out on the pub.

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The thought of a smoking ban has proved divisive on-line

“If smoking is allowed in every single place you can’t select to keep away from it until you select to remain dwelling… keep dwelling and you lose the social and psychological advantages of being out and the pubs lose your cash. Split sections caters for everybody higher and pubs will appeal to extra individuals.”

Meanwhile Kat Walker, a smoker, mentioned she is conscious of when and the place she chooses to smoke and tries to not let her behavior have an effect on others.

“As a smoker, I’m cool with having designated areas outdoors,” she defined. “I personally don’t mild up at my desk if somebody is consuming next to me or has a child.

“I’d desire to have a smaller area to smoke if it makes everybody else comfy. Especially in the meanwhile, with the brand new very lined outdoors areas being opened to get round pandemic guidelines. Some of them have hardly any area for air flow, if everybody was smoking it will be horrible to be in there.

“My smoking is my selection, the place attainable, I strive to not inflict it on others.”

However, loads of Londoners fiercely opposed the thought.

“I’m an ex-smoker, people who smoke have the choice to maneuver away,” Annie Warren wrote. “They aren’t allowed to smoke inside so they need to be allowed to smoke outdoors.”

“Stop moaning. If you don’t prefer it, don’t go easy as that.”

Passionately defending the best to smoke in pub gardens, Kelly Clarke mentioned she believes people who smoke are not any extra of a nuisance than noisy drunks.

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“You don’t need somebody smoking next to you, however you don’t thoughts a drunk particular person sitting next to you, swearing and shouting and stinking of booze? A drunk particular person is worse than a smoker, at the least the scent solely lasts a couple of minutes. A drunk particular person goes on and on.

“Stop moaning. If you don’t prefer it, don’t go easy as that. I don’t smoke nor drink however really feel individuals want to relax a bit.”

While John Hetherington additionally answered “no” to the query.

“I imagine that if we would like a free nation we MUST permit completely different opinions and existence. Us people who smoke have accepted no smoking indoors, if you are saying we cannot now embrace smoking open air, then we’re second if not third class residents, supplementing everybody else’s taxes however with much less ‘rights’.”

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In settlement, Pauline O Sullivan identified the ban may deter people who smoke from heading to the pub altogether.

“No, we stopped smoking inside so allow us to have a smoke outdoors. Ban it and other people will cease going pubs.”

Steve Worley argued: “I hope you all realise, as soon as the well being zealots finally ban smoking, alcohol will be next.

“So all of your sunny afternoons on the Pinot Grigio, will slowly evaporate. All these great pubs, stuffed with historical past and group, will be was flats or comfort shops, don’t wish our culture away.”