"Could cause riots this" - Star readers debate an independent review's plans to phase out smoking by 2030 in England

It was revealed last week that smoking could be banned in many places, including beer gardens and in homes, under plans being considered.

Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:22 pm
Updated Monday, 13th June 2022, 4:22 pm

The plans were revealed as part of an independent review that was undertaken by Dr Javed Khan OBE, who in his recenly published The Khan Review, recommended a series of steps to make England smoke-free by 2030. These steps could include bans for smoking in certain places like cafe, restaurant and pub gardens, beaches, all outdoor areas where children are present, and also in council homes.

We asked our readers what they thought about the plans and they had this to say:

Julie Sheppard was first to comment with two words: “He’s dreaming.”

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handsome elegant man sitting outside at a restaurant table, working and using laptop while smoking cigarettes

This was followed by Loueena West, who thinks the bigger issue may be something else: “Alcohol kills more people.”

However, James Wilson, was not happy at all: “Are you aware of the outburst this will cause for people? Also, vaping better not follow this at any point in the future. Stop trying to control people and what they do!”

Andrew James Kirbyshaw added his take: “£10.2 billion in tobacco tax revenues per annum. Cost to NHS and social care to treat smokers £3.5 billion per annum. That's a shortfall of nearly £7 billion a year in tax.”

Liz Duffin was short in her reply, “Nanny state strikes again.”

Eugene Solomon chimed in with his take, “Yeah, I can just see a 50-year-old bloke standing outside Ken's asking a 52-year-old to go in and buy him some fags.”

On the other hand, Mel Machin believes that “It should rise to 90 years of age in my opinion but that will simply encourage a black market.”

Whereas Irene Mellor says that, “This is not good.”

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“I don’t lecture other people about it. Could start riots this"

Simon Bell warned about such plans going ahead, “Ban smoking in beer gardens, and that will be the final nail in the coffin for countless pubs.”

Peter Jeffrey responded directly to Simon, who said: “may as well shut the pubs now.”

Julie Sheppard came back to add more of her views: “Lives in cloud cuckoo land cant tell people how to live their lives and tell them what to do.” John LeMonk replied, “er they did tell people what to do and how to live their lifes in 2020/1” Julie this to say about the government: “well, they’ve no right.” John followed up saying: “I agree just saying that they over reached before and will do it again.”

Mark Arnold added: “including vaping? This is getting ridiculous.”

And Mickl Betts added, “Well, they're doing it with fuel and energy prices!”

Jon Day also added his take, “good luck with that.”

Christine Francis is pessimistic that the plans will ever happen at all: “The government will never ban tobacco. Too much tax revenue”, to which Paul Metcalf responded with, “It’s a government plan.”

Janet Pawley continued the feeling of pessimism: “Good luck with the last one, surely it’s their home!” Kevan Bee replied with: “Councils home - it's a tenancy. They've started banning pets in some council tenancies.”

Danielle Reid asked: “Why council homes? Not bought homes? What is the difference?”

"Well, when they pay rent and council tax for my home they can tell me what to do in it”

David Rayner believes that: “It’s about time these anti-smokers found something else to worry about!”

Peter Jeffery did not seem pleased at all: “It's called personal choice,Getting more like bloody Russia every day.People do ,alcohol or gambling and are addicted but they don't ban the advertising on them, smoking is an addiction just the same.”

Mick Higgins asked whether: “should the NHS deal with the consequences of bad choices like deliberately destroying your own lungs?”

Jason Pladoh was adamant that it is: “Not gonna happen, Cancer kills, and dead people don't claim benefits or a Pension.”

One of the most popular comments came from Ian Cann, who had this to say: “Just another tap on the long thin wedge. Slowly slowly HMG is taking over control of our right to choose, our thinking and what words we can and can’t use and what rights we can have. They tax us when we work, they tax us when we buy a house, they tax our food, clothes and drinks. And if you’ve been a hard working citizen and own a home you’ll most likely be taxed when you die. Enough already. Cease, desist, pause for breath. Address the big issues and stop pestering the little people who can’t fight back. You’re supposed to work for us not us for you.”

And Jeannie Parkinson was not at all happy, “If we didn't want freedom of choice we would move to RUSSIA OR CHINA”

Ian Wilkinson seemed aghast: “Ban smoking in council homes? How’s this being policed? Noble goals but totally unrealistic. Better plan to achieve is ban all nicotine and tobacco based products then it’d be like other highly addictive drugs.”

“It looks like they are doing the same with Petrol"

Denise Hudson seems worried about the possible consequences: “Surely the repercussions from this would be astronomical. That same doctors wages are paid from the tax paid on cigarettes, and like someone else has said it will only encourage black markets. I personally gave up smoking almost 8 years ago but I respect other people's rights to smoke x”, a popular take that resonated with a number of our readers.

Allyson Boot felt like there was another plan at play: “Don’t no how they can police it in council homes like they don’t have enough to door is that meant to make people buy them again that’s their plan”

Michelle Henderson, recalled how she could: “remember going to see my GP years ago and he sat in his room smoking while seeing patients, how things change.”

Sandra Ingram added that she is: “Not a smoker but how many more of our civil liberties will they try to take away?”

Graham Turnbull was all for it, responding with: “Definitely shouldn’t be able to smoke outside pubs, cafes and restaurants. As a non-smoker I’d like to be able to eat outside without inhaling smoke.”

And finally, John Mellows said that it was: “Nanny state gone mad. Where has freedom gone.”