“Smokers exercising their right to smoke takes away non-smokers’ right not to smoke” – Sheffield residents have their say on proposed smoking ban

Smoking outside hospitality venues in Sheffield could soon be banned – this is what residents in the city think about the proposal.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:26 pm

Sheffield Council is looking at whether it should follow other local authorities in introducing a smoking ban on pavements outside cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants.

The ban would be similar to one made by several councils across England in areas including Northumberland, Durham, North Tyneside, Newcastle and Manchester, where rules have been brought in to stop smokers lighting up at tables.

The Star has spoken to Sheffield residents to find out their opinion of the proposed smoking ban.

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Smoking ban proposed in Sheffield City Centre outside pubs and restaurants. Pictured is Jenny Baker.
Smoking ban proposed in Sheffield City Centre outside pubs and restaurants. Pictured is Jenny Baker.

Jenny Baker, 55, said: “I don’t understand why they’re thinking of doing this. The hospitality industry is having it rough anyway with the pandemic, and they had it rough before when they banned smoking indoors; for the council to do this, it wouldn’t be fair.

“I can understand it from a non-smokers and ex-smokers point of view, but it’s your own choice, and we never inflict it on anybody, even if we’re out, we’ll say do you mind if we spoke. I think it’s harsh.”

Regan White, 57, said: “I think it’s a bit over the top, to be honest, even if I wasn’t a smoker, I think it would be harsh because it’s your right.”

Megan Brown, 22, said: “I don’t think people should be allowed to do it on the street outside bars and things because people have to walk past them; people with pushchairs can’t just get out of the way.”

Smoking ban proposed in Sheffield City Centre outside pubs and restaurants. Pictured is Regan White.

Anna Yeats, 22, said: “It bothers me when you go out for food, especially when you sit outside and someone nearby is smoking while you’re eating. I think it’s quite gross.”

Joanne Hill said: “Absolutely yes. When pubs first reopened for sitting outside only, non-smokers were excluded because there was no way to avoid the smokers outside. Now people are allowed inside; we can get away from the smoke but quite often have to run the gauntlet of the smoke outside. This also means that we still can’t sit outside if we want to avoid the smoke. Unfortunately, smokers exercising their right to smoke takes away non-smokers’ right not to smoke. Surely, we should be moving towards a society where no one smokes; there’s no denying it’s a deadly habit.”

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Smoking ban proposed in Sheffield City Centre outside pubs and restaurants. Pictured is Megan Brown.
Smoking ban proposed in Sheffield City Centre outside pubs and restaurants. Pictured is Anna Yeats.