Hundreds vote against a smoking ban in Nottingham’s Old Market Square

2943238_46d5a818The Old Market Square could become a smoke free zone to cut smoking related illnesses if there is enough support from the public.

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It follows a similar scheme in Bristol which became the first place to impose a “voluntary smoking ban” in two of it’s main public squares.

Nottingham City Council is proposing a similar ban here in the city centre.

But 69% of people that took part in a  recent poll said that they would not back the ban.

There were 358 smoking related deaths per 100,000 people in the city last year, compared with 292 in the rest of England. Smoking expert, Professor John Britton said:

“Smoking is the biggest threat to public health in this City and tackling it should be the biggest priority. Any attempt like this has to be applauded. Is it a good thing for children to walk through the city centre and see adults smoking? Surely the answer in any civilised society is surely no.”

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Over 100,000 people die from smoking in the UK each year

Chris Leslie MP, who represents Nottingham East is backing the scheme.

“There’s something quite British about politely asking someone not to do something. I think it needs to be a question of nudging, rather than fines. It is something that strikes me as being sensible,” he said.

But  Jane Hunt, Conservative candidate for Nottingham South, feels there is a bigger issue to tackle.

“If they are trying to stop children from seeing smoking as the norm, then stopping it in the Square won’t work because it happens across the City. The more important issue for me is the disposal of cigarettes in the Square,” she said.

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Pro smoking lobby group Forest campaigns against banned smoking in open spaces.

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Pro-smoking lobby group

Director Simon Clark said:

“Extending public smoking bans to outdoor areas is illiberal and unwarranted. Smoking in the open air harms no one, apart, perhaps, the consumer, and that’s their choice.”

When asked to comment, local people had mixed views about the ban

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