Smoking could be banned on beaches in Brighton – but so far there are no plans to stop smokers lighting up on Eastbourne’s beaches.
A public consultation on smoke-free parks and beaches in Brighton and Hove started on July 22 and will continue for 12 weeks.
Brighton already has a voluntary ban on smoking in children’s play areas, but now the city’s parks and beaches could become smoke-free too.
But members of the council’s health and wellbeing board, which met on Tuesday, did express concern that a ban could not be enforced.
Dr Tom Scanlon, who sits on the board, said there would be no “on the spot fines” or police involvement. However, the consultation does ask if the public would agree with issuing a fixed penalty notice to enforce the ban, and how much it should be.
Cllr Daniel Yates, chairman of health and wellbeing board, said, “The health benefits of smoke free areas and protecting children from second-hand smoke are well established. We’re keen to keep people safe from the effects of smoking in public areas, especially children who are most vulnerable.”
However Eastbourne Borough Council said there were no proposals to adopt the ban in the town.
A spokesperson for Eastbourne Borough Council said, “Our Quality Coast winning beaches are popular with both residents and visitors, and we currently have no plans to introduce a smoking ban on them.”
The Herald asked readers whether they welcomed a ban on smoking on Eastbourne’s beaches.
Linda Carey said, “There is nothing worse than coming out of the hospital, schools or shops and breathing in someone else’s smoke exhaled from their lungs.
“For the health of non smokers and children it should be banned from all public places. Smokers can smoke in their homes but it’s selfish to do it in public.”
Angela Waters said a ‘sensible option’ is to have a smoking part and a non-smoking part to keep everyone happy.
However Cheryl Horton-Powell, said a smoking ban would be a ‘ridiculous idea’ and called for the councils to ‘stop persecuting smokers’.
She added, “I don’t smoke around others and I always put my butts in the bin.”
A national smoking ban on workplaces and enclosed public areas was introduced in July 2007, and in October this year tobacco-smoking in cars carrying children will also be outlawed in England.
Smoking is the primary cause of premature death and preventable illness in the UK and is attributed to more than 80,000 deaths a year.
Cynthia Lyons, East Sussex County Council acting director of public health, said, “Second hand smoke can harm our health and contains over 4,000 chemicals, some of which are known to cause cancer.
“Exposure to other people smoking can also increase the desirability and accessibility of smoking to young people. We commission stop smoking services from GP practices and community pharmacies as well as specialist stop smoking services in order to support people to improve their own health and the health of those around them by stopping smoking.”
A service to help people stop smoking is provided by Quit51 at 0800 622 6968.
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