Brighton and Hove beach smoking ban bid dropped

Brighton beach Image copyright PA
Image caption There was little support for a beach smoking ban

A plan to ban smoking on Brighton beach has been dropped but the council will move forward with bringing in smoke-free zones at primary school gates.

Brighton council's health and wellbeing board looked at plans for smoke-free spaces in outdoor areas on Tuesday.

Members heard the proposed beach ban had won little support from smokers and non-smokers alike.

Smokers' campaign group Forest welcomed the move and said it would have been "a step too far".

A report submitted to the meeting said smoking was higher than average in the city - 23% of adults smoke compared with 18% nationally and 15% of 15-year-olds smoke compared with 8% nationally.

The Labour-run council wanted to support Public Health England's aim of having a smoke-free generation by 2025.

'No health risk'

A consultation on smoke-free zones had 1,898 responses - said to be among the highest response rates.

It found while there was little support for smoke-free parks and beaches, a majority of smokers and non-smokers agreed play parks, school entrances and children's centres should be smoke-free.

Members decided to continue with a bid to promote smoke-free school gates and play parks, and smoke-free outdoor areas at restaurants and pubs, but dropped plans to encourage smoke-free parks and beaches.

Forest director Simon Clark said there was no justification for banning smoking in the open air.

He claimed there was no risk to anyone else's health and the inconvenience to non-smokers was minimal or non-existent.

"Banning smoking in outdoor public spaces is not only a step too far, it's also very unpopular with the general public," he added.

Councillor Daniel Yates, committee chairman, said: "I believe the measures that are being suggested are a common-sense approach."

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