Northumberland among councils leading the way with smoking ban for pavement pubs and cafes
Smoking bans at pavement cafes and pubs serving food and drinks have now been introduced by six councils in England, including Northumberland.
The policy doesn't prevent people from smoking on the street, just within the licensed area.
A spokesperson for Northumberland County Council said: "This measure preventing smoking in areas where pavement licences are granted for pubs and restaurants to serve food and drinks on the highway was put in place last summer for any new applications during Covid.
"It is a ‘standard condition’ which is drawn from national guidance.
“Given the space constraints on our pavements generally and our public health objectives we opted for the drafting which prevented smoking on pavement licenced areas."
North Tyneside, Newcastle and Durham and Manchester councils have adopted similar policies, while Gateshead does not have an official policy in place but all licences state pavement cafes must be smoke-free.
Ailsa Rutter, director of Fresh and Balance, said: “Fresh welcomes the leadership that is being shown by local authorities in the North East in addressing smoking as both our biggest killer and a significant cause of health inequalities.
“This approach makes complete sense. Less than one in seven people now smoke and most people are in favour of entirely smokefree seating areas.”
“It is also really important to remember that we’ve seen record numbers of people quitting during the Covid pandemic which is fantastic. But relapse is common and smokers often make many attempts before they successfully quit. Making pavement cafes smokefree can really help to provide a supportive environment for those smokers who are trying to quit and to stay quit.
“Smokefree outdoor areas have been in place in many countries around the world for a long time and all the evidence points to high levels of compliance, public support and improvements in wellbeing.
“Like the smokefree law that was introduced in 2007 – one of the most popular and successful public health measures ever – smokefree pavement cafes is a largely self-enforcing policy so we’re not expecting the need for enforcement. The vast majority of people will welcome the smokefree environment.”
Oxfordshire is also planning to ban smoking from outdoor restaurants as part of a strategy to make the county smoke-free by 2025, five years ahead of the government’s plan for England.