"This is just another example of the nanny state" - Star Readers' discuss smoking being banned outside pubs and restaurants

After six councils banned smoking outside pubs and restaurants, it was revealed today that 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.

Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 1:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 1:34 pm

We asked our readers’ what they thought about the topic and whether they thought smoking should be banned outside food & drinks venues. This is what they had to say:

One of the more popular responses came from Tracey Sutton, who said; “YES! I was sitting outside a pub yesterday in Worcester and smokers had to go off the pub grounds to smoke. We thought it a great move!”, Margaret Dykes didn’t agree though, responding with; “When pubs can not operate you will moan so give em a chance and see the bigger picture, smoking areas with none smokers banned from them as we all have a choice.”

Joanne Dungworth said; “I smoke but I wouldn't smoke round people who are eating, I think its rude, I always move away to have a smoke then go back to the table after simple solution.” Another person who thinks that it “Would be great, especially in areas where food is served outside” is Bev Pepperdine, who thinks that “now we have been 'living in outside world' it has become more noticeable the smoking. There should be specific areas where smokers can puff there smoke and from ecigs-potential viruses over each other. Just my opinion. I am also a none drinker.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

STOCK: smoking.

It’s not just the ‘lifestyle choices’ that some take issue with, one of the key issues is health, such is the case with Diana Heywood, who replied saying; “There are certain places I won’t go to as I know there will be smokers outside the door. I am Asthmatic and I struggle with smoke. I know I can’t enjoy my meal while I am tight chested.”

Not everyone agreed though, Tracy Fisher responded with more than a smidgeon of sarcasm on display; “Ooh yes please just stop any kind of enjoyment for everyone that's possible so that we can all live miserably, I dont smoke btw! But this is ridiculous!!”

Jean Hepplestone thinks that finding a middle ground is the best option; “I dont smoke and hate the smell, but there should be an area outside for smokers.”

Andrew Gardner added his two pence to the discussion, saying; “I’m a non smoker but let’s be honest the smoking ban in pubs (coupled with increasingly cheap booze in supermarkets) has crippled the pub industry with pubs being boarded up and closing at a rapid rate. I’d have thought this will just hammer more nails in the coffin lid.”

Kerry Jane Clarke is not a fan, saying; “I don't smoke, I would rather not be near smokers however this is just another example of the nanny state. We won't be able to do anything or say anything ever again.”

Former smoker Beryl Bowler, gave up the habit 16-years-ago, said that; “you stopped them smoking inside so let them have there smoking pleasure outside its everybody to their own.” And Lyndsey Bennett replied saying, “i don’t smoke and hate the smell especially where you are eating but pubs need areas for smokers fact. most pubs provide areas for smokers, uncover with heating. The position just needs to be thought about. People smoke more when they drink!” Angela Riley doesn’t think smoking should be banned, “I don’t smoke and I prefer not to eat near someone if they are smoking close by, but surely people should be allowed to sit comfortably and smoke outside pubs/bars/restaurants.”

“Hang on”, says Rob Hadi Hadfield, “they were forced to go outside and now everyone has started to go outside they are getting forced to stop out there. Do people not understand what damage was caused to the industry when smoking was stopped in doors and now want to throw even more challenges after everything that has gone off.”

And finally, James F Wright added his thoughts, saying; “Lots of people saying banning smoking will kill the pub trade. I was a pub manager for 25 years, the smoking ban actually increased trade across the whole country. Pubs also have the lowest failing rates now for years. Before the smoking ban, tenancy pubs, which were the vast majority of pubs in England had a 200% bankruptcy rate! Pubs being boarded up has nothing to do with smoking ban or cheap supermarkets drink, it’s a market adjustment to a vastly flooded market, that didn’t react quickly enough to consumers needs, and couldn’t compete with rival leisure business. You saw the same thing with swimming baths in the 90’s same thing was happening to restaurants chains before the lock down. To get some perspective when woman were let in the tap rooms, of pubs, people said it would-be the death of pubs” — a take that seems fairly well thought out here.

But what do you think?

It’s no secret this was quite the heated debate with a 50:50 split for the most part, one thing that was noted is that a lot of non-smokers were of the belief that smokers shouldn’t be ostracised entirely and there should be an area where they can toot away to their hearts content. Sadly, we couldn’t showcase all of the replies (and there were many), you can see what people had to say on Facebook and on Twitter.