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Butt out, campaigners tell council

Wed 26th May, 2021

Forest has criticised plans to discourage workplace smoking areas in order to make Oxfordshire the first 'smoke-free' county in England by 2025.

Responding to plans to stop people smoking by creating more 'smoke-free environments' in outdoor areas, including workplaces, Simon Clark, director of Forest, said:

"It's no business of local councils if adults choose to smoke, and if they smoke outside during working hours that's a matter for them and their employer not the council.

"Nor should it be the role of councillors to force smokers to quit by extending the indoor smoking ban to any outdoor area where there is no risk to non-smokers."

He added:

"After Covid local authorities will have far more important things to do than tackle smoking.

"The public will want local authorities to help local businesses bounce back from the impact of the pandemic. They will also be expected to focus on issues like employment and housing.

"Reducing smoking rates to meet some idealistic target is not a priority for most people and council policy should reflect that."

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