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Forest responds to consultation on smoking in al fresco smoking areas

Wed 5th December, 2018

Forest has criticised a proposal to ban smoking in al fresco dining areas in St Helier, Jersey.

In a submission to the St Helier Roads Committee consultation that closed on Monday 3rd December, Forest said:

'Those who want to ban smoking in al fresco dining areas ignore the fact that smoking is already banned inside every cafe, pub and restaurant.

'At least non-smokers have a choice. In contrast, having been prohibited from lighting up inside, adults who wish to smoke do not have the option to do so inside where it’s warm and comfortable.

'Instead, if they wish to smoke while eating or drinking, they are forced to go outside, regardless of the weather.'

The ten-page submission said:

'Pubs, restaurants and cafes are private businesses. Whether they choose to allow smoking in al fresco dining areas, where there is no risk to anyone else's health, should be up to them.

'Tolerance, common sense and good manners (on both sides) must be allowed to prevail without more rules and regulations designed to control people’s behaviour beyond what is reasonable and fair.'

Unintended consequences of a ban, said Forest, could include some bars and restaurants going out of business as smokers stay away.

Questioning the need for further anti-smoking regulations, the group described the proposal to ban smoking in outdoor dining areas as a 'solution in search of a problem'.

The matter will be discussed at a Roads Committee meeting being held on Wednesday 12th December.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

"Banning smoking in al fresco dining areas is unfair and unreasonable. It will do nothing to improve public health but could have serious unintended consequences for local businesses.

"We urge the Roads Committee to reject the proposal and give owners of outdoor dining areas the freedom to implement policies that best suit their business, not the agenda of a small group of anti-smoking zealots."

Click here for the full Forest submission.

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