The familiar sight of smokers hovering outside the university buildings could soon be a thing of the past under new public health plans outlined by the government.
It’s been three years since the government introduced the smoking ban in 2007 and a review of the ban is due this summer. New guidelines published by the government suggest that this ban may be extended to the entrances of public buildings.
The review comes after reports suggest that whilst the ban did cut the number of smokers, it increased the number of second hand smoke to those who don’t smoke.
Smoker Andrew Hamblyn thinks the extension of the ban is a good idea: “Just because I’m a smoker doesn’t mean I think its fair for non-smokers to have to walk in and out of our smoke all day.” He also sees the extension as a social deterrent: “It’s also going to stop people, in particular young people, hanging around outside shops etc.”
Second hand smoke is the cause of thousands of deaths each year. It causes the same diseases as smoking, including cancer and heart disease. The effect of the ban would mean smokers would have to find somewhere else to smoke rather than just on the street outside buildings.
Students around the University of Lincoln have mixed feelings about the ban. Others however will welcome the new guidelines if put into action.
Student Louise Shearing suffers from asthma and says: “I have to be very careful when I go out clubbing. I can’t just go outside for some air. If I get hot inside, I have to deal with it. There are more smokers than there are people with asthma, so we are just forgotten about. This extension of the ban will make a massive difference to me on nights out.”
A group of smokers huddled together outside the library said: “It’s a joke to expect us to go anywhere else. They’ve already stopped us from smoking inside and now this. Unless the government starts putting up smoking shelters, we’ve got nowhere to go.”
Many smokers agree that if they are forced out of buildings and away from entrances,then they should be provided with a place to smoke. Some work environments offer smoking shelters, but smokers are pushing for more.
Student and part time employee Paul Stewart agrees more should be offered to smokers: “If the government are going to tell people where they should smoke, then they should be prepared to create new areas for them.”
The UK wouldn’t be the first country to try and take the smoking ban one step further. Parts of the US have already enforced the laws, and in Moscow, Russia you must be at least 20ft away from a building.
Health experts agree that whilst it’s a big decision, it definitely has good long-term prospects.Tweet