Smoking ban extension could be hit and miss


The government are proposing an extension of the smoking ban to stop smoking at the entrances of buildings. Photo: CC Saudi

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.

5 Responses to Smoking ban extension could be hit and miss

  1. I’d love to see smokers moved away from building entrances, I’m lucky if I can get to the Media building without walking through a cloud of smoke and crowd of smokers, who don’t seem to acknowledge that people need to get past. It may also encourage more people to quit, as they are running out of places they can smoke freely.

  2. I agree with Stacey – being asthmatic myself, having to walk through a cloud of smoke every day on my way into the MHT building is something I dread. There are a shocking number of students who smoke, and although I understand that it’s a personal lifestyle choice, it’s something which I believe needs to be dealt with – especially if that personal choice is affecting other people.

  3. Joe Hicks says:

    Being asthmatic and a smoker – I see both sides to this.

    My asthma’s not as bad as it used to be, but I can tell when it’s flaring up; there are common-place things which cause it to do so much more than smoke – hot air for example, and printing fumes.

    Smoking should be a dying habit, but it isn’t; it’s something our community has been brought up with for generations and although I generally agree with the national smoking ban in enclose public places, those who do smoke (which is a considerable figure) should at least be provided with somewhere to do so without being persecuted into discomfort.

  4. Smithy says:

    Stacey/Brooke,

    Second hand smoke never harmed anyone and certainly never killed anyone! What would you do if you walked into a pub with a roaring log fire on a freezing cold day? Sit as near to the fire as possible no doubt! For your information, there is more lung damage caused from ‘toxic particulate’ from an open fire than there ever could be from a humble cigarette!

    What non smokers gripe about is the actual smell of tobacco smoke, that’s what irritates them. 25% of the population have been totally discriminated against-or is that OK in your book?

    Create smoking pubs and non smoking pubs then each can choose their own and having seen the dearth of customers in pubs nowadays I know which one I’d be in — and I don’t smoke!

    Do you prefer the age old traditional smell of the British pub or this new sweat, cleaning fluids stench we now have to put up with It’s enough to put you off pubs for life! Your MP, Gillian Meron, is a cancer on this country for it is her anti smoking ilk that will bankrupt us!

    You need to live and let live peeps because all this smoke ban law is doing is crippling the country. You already have a £36,000 national debt against each of us thanks to Labour. How are you even going to pay that? (and that’s before it increases)

  5. Pat Nurse says:

    If smokers were safely inside somewhere then people wouldn’t have to put up with them smoking outside. Market Forces were sorting this issue out before the Govt put the jackbot in and took away people’s free right to choose whether they wanted to enter smoking or non-smoking premises.

    Today, pub landlord Nick Hogan is serving a six month jail sentence for allowing two elderly people to smoke in his pub because he couldn’t throw them out in the cold. CHOICE addresses the needs of both sides. Criminalisisng and humiliating decent law abiding people who enjoy smoking is criminal. Both sides can be catered for on this isue without using exclusion and discrimination as a tool to achieve Govt ideology backed up by fake charities like ASH!