Hot off the Press: outdoor smoking bans

Sunday 18 October, 13.10 until 13.50, Hammerson Room, Barbican Hot Off the Press

With Brighton council proposing to ban smoking on the beach, the outdoor smoking ban could soon be coming to a beach or park near you. Smoking bans are now the norm outside hospitals and in areas such as children’s playgrounds. Mental-health facilities are also starting to go ‘smoke-free’.

Unlike indoor smoking bans, the justification for these bans is not to prevent harm to non-smokers. Instead, the ban is an attempt to ‘denormalise’ smoking, to send a message that it is not acceptable. In August, the Royal Society for Public Health called for a ban on smoking in pub gardens, with the RSPH’s chief executive arguing: ‘We believe that banning smoking in these locations via an exclusion zone could further denormalise smoking, ensuring that it is seen as an abnormal activity and potentially, prevent children and young people from beginning in the future.’

The Manifesto Club and Forest have united to take on these bans across the country, and will discuss their research and campaigning in this area.

Josie Appleton
director, civil liberties group, Manifesto Club; author, Officious: Rise of the Busybody State

Simon Clark
director, smokers’ rights group, Forest; Action on Consumer Choice.

Dolan Cummings
associate fellow, Academy of Ideas; author, That Existential Leap: a crime story (forthcoming from Zero Books)

Barry Curtis
Volunteer and writer

Rob Lyons
science and technology director, Academy of Ideas; convenor, IoI Economy Forum

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