Further bans on smoking a real drag

Terry Pearce of Lewis Bar, Stornoway
Terry Pearce of Lewis Bar, Stornoway

Landlords and residents have voiced opposition to further smoking restrictions, after research suggests support for outdoor smoking ban.

A survey by a leading online chemist, Pharmacy2U, found that two thirds of people in Scotland back a smoking ban in all playgrounds, which has drawn little opposition.

But half of Scots think smoking should be banned in outdoor restaurants, a haven for smokers driven outside in 2006.

One in five Scots said they would travel further to visit a smoke-free beach.

On further restrictions, Terry Pearce, of Stornoway’s The Lewis Bar, said: “What happened to freedom of choice?

“People have a right to do what they want in their own personal space. Further bans will hit my takings.

“I hope further restrictions don’t happen and we keep freedom of choice. Infringing other people’s freedom further is utterly pathetic.”

Callum Macleod, Stornoway, said: “I am not a smoker but everyone should have freedom providing they don’t harm others. If their smoking has no affect on me, I don’t see why our council should restrict it.”

Dr Nitin Shori, a medical director who organised the study, said: “There does appear to be public support for more smoking restrictions – particularly where children are likely to be playing.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar hasn’t any proposals to further restrict smoking beyond indoor ban introduced in 2006. But this new study emphasises a growing trend towards further restrictions.

John Masson, a tourist, commented: “I can’t believe they might stop smoking in public streets.

“I see the case for playgrounds, but in the middle of the street? I wouldn’t come back to Stornoway if that ever happened!”

Brighton & Hove City Council are trying a new voluntary ban on smoking in some public areas.

Scottish councils will be keen to analyse the results for future policy discussion.