Blackpool smoking ban considered but other measures more likely

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While the number of smokers in Blackpool has decreased, the level is still above the national average.

A busy Blackpool promenade

A busy Blackpool promenade

Blackpool Council has no immediate plans to follow other local authorities in banning smoking in pavement pubs and eateries – but the resort’s health chief says he will looks at steps being taken elsewhere to control tobacco use.

Five councils including the City of Manchester have so far banned smoking on stretches of pavement where there are licences in place for outdoor drinking and eating, while Oxfordshire is also considering the move.

Blackpool Council led the way in 2012 when it introduced a no smoking policy in children’s playgrounds.

Dr Arif Rajpura, the council’s director of public health, said: “We recognise how harmful to health smoking is.

“Over the years we have adopted a number of initiatives and introduced measures to encourage smokers to give up for health reasons including the designation of some areas of Blackpool as smoke-free zones.

“The council will continue work to with our community to try to reduce the numbers of people who smoke and avoid the harm to others via passive smoking.

“We are keen to assess and review ideas and policy proposals from national government and other organisations that might help as part of our wider Blackpool tobacco control strategy.

“All information and learning would, of course, need to be considered and evaluated by the council before implementation.”

There is already a smoke-free seating condition as part of the council’s pavement licensing policy which states licence holders “must make reasonable provision for seating where smoking is not permitted.”

This is regulated in line with national guidance.

In 2012 the council designated 13 playgrounds as smoke free as part of health protection measures agreed with the NHS, with signs installed warning people the move was necessary to protect children.

While the number of smokers in Blackpool has decreased in recent years, the level is still above the national average.

Public Health England figures for 2018 showed 21 per cent of adults in Blackpool smoke, which was down from 28 per cent in 2011, but above the national average of just over 14 per cent.