'Ridiculous' or genius? South Shields residents react to news of potential smoking ban at beaches and town centres
and live on Freeview channel 276
The potential ban is part of a drive to encourage people in South Tyneside to quit smoking, with more than 15% of people in the borough still do – the second highest rate in the region and well above the national average of 12%.
It comes after the Government published the Khan review, an independent study of moves that could help more people kick the habit.
A full council meeting on Thursday, October 27, will hear what progress has been made across the borough to implement its recommendations – and what more could be done.
Councillors will be asked to consider a ban on lighting up to cover play areas, beaches and town centres.
We asked people in South Shields town centre what they thought of the potential ban.
Joe Salam, 23, from South Shields, is a non-smoker and believes the potential ban would be a bad thing.
He said: “I don’t agree with a ban. I think they should continue to allow people to smoke in public areas. It’s a life choice and as long as people are responsible with what they do with the cigarettes, if they put them out responsibly, I don’t think it’s necessarily an issue.
Paul Walsh, 63, from South Shields, doesn’t smoke but thinks a ban would be tough on smokers.
He said: “I’m not bothered either way to be perfectly honest but I think it would be pretty hard on people who smoke, they’ve got to smoke somewhere if they’ve got a habit and we’ve all got habits.
Smoker Alan Morton, 68, branded a potential ban ‘ridiculous’. He said: “I think it’s ridiculous. It would cause a lot of anxiety and trouble for people because they’ll not stick to the ban.”
Geoff Ramm, 77, from South Shields, doesn’t smoke and believes the ban would be a positive thing for the area.
He said: “I think it would be a good choice to make. Not just for your own health but for other people as well.”
Non-smoker Rahul Singh, 28, from South Shields, is also in favour of the ban and believes it could benefit people's health. He said:
“I think it’s good because it affects the smoker’s health and isn’t good for people (near a smoker) who don’t smoke.”
South Shields resident Ujjwal, is an occasional smoker, but thinks the ban could be a good thing and encourage people like him to quit.
He said: “I think it’s quite good actually. From my point of view, if I see someone else smoking I think, okay I’ll have one as well, but if no one around me is smoking I’m okay. Maybe it would help me reduce my smoking which would be good.”
Next week’s meeting will see members asked to agree the recommendations of the Khan Review and to write to the Health Minister to ask the Government to publish a new Tobacco Control Plan for England, after reports it may be about to break its pledge to do so.