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Forest slams plan to ban smoking and vaping on council premises

Mon 21st June, 2021

Campaigners have criticised plans by Breckland Council in Norfolk to prohibit smoking and vaping on all council-owned sites.

The new policy will apply to all employees of Breckland Council, elected members, visitors and contractors working on any council-owned premises. It also 'affords e-cigarettes and vaping the same restrictions as tobacco'.

Simon Clark, director of the smokers' lobby group Forest, said:

"The council's policy is based on the fallacy that smoking outside poses a health risk to non-smokers. There is not a shred of evidence that smoking in the open air is harmful to by-standers.

"Banning vaping as well shows this is not about health but about controlling people's behaviour. E-cigarettes are used by many smokers to help them quit so banning their use on council premises makes no sense.

"Everyone is entitled to a work break and if staff choose to use that time to light up or vape outside that's a matter for them not their employer.

"If the council wants to help the government achieve its goal of a smoke free England by 2030 it should focus on the carrot not the stick.

"Policies designed to force adults to quit smoking are not just illiberal, they are often counter-productive because they breed resentment among those they are intended to help."

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