Oxfordshire is considering a smoking ban for outdoor restaurants as part of plans to become the first smoke-free county by 2025.
The plans provide for employers to be encouraged to promote smoke-free environments and to help employees quit smoking.
Local NHS trusts will be smoke-free while encouraging smokers who use, visit, or work the NHS to quit smoking.
Local organizations working across the community are supported to promote smoke-free environments such as houses, cars, play parks and school gates.
An Oxfordshire County Council spokeswoman said: “Oxfordshire has an ambitious goal to be smoke free by 2025. Creating healthy, smoke-free environments – including considering suggestions for 100% smoke-free seating in the hospitality industry – is a breeze. ”Part of a wider range of nationwide plans.
“There are currently no deadlines for proposals to approve smoke-free sidewalks, and nothing has yet been agreed. Any decision on this would ultimately be the responsibility of our individual Oxfordshire County Councils.
“Our tobacco control strategy further outlines our smoke-free plans for 2025, which include creating healthy and family-friendly smoke-free spaces, helping people who quit smoking and helping those who want to quit smoking.”
The Oxfordshire Tobacco Control Strategy aims to bring the overall smoking prevalence in Oxfordshire to below 5% by 2025.
The plans envisage that the council will work with other local authorities and the NHS to sign the local government tobacco declaration and the NHS smoke-free pledge as a commitment to tobacco reduction.
In addition, the proposal envisages that the local authority will address the supply and demand of illegal tobacco, raise public awareness, support regional programs to reduce illegal tobacco and take measures to reduce sales of tobacco-related products and electronic cigarettes to those who are minors.
A report by Dr. Adam Briggs, chief public health officer of the strategy, found that smoking was the leading cause of preventable death in Oxfordshire, costing public finances £ 120 million each year.
While 12% of Oxfordshire’s population currently smoke, lower-income people, people with mental illnesses, the homeless and travelers are all more likely to smoke.
Smoke-free is officially recognized by the government if 5% of the population or less are smokers.
Last year, data from the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found that between 2012 and 2017, 2,132 people died from smoking in Oxfordshire between 2012 and 2017.
ASH also said that in Oxfordshire, 23 tons of trash, or enough to fill 421 trash cans, is collected in the form of cigarette butts every year.
It has also been estimated that smoking-related house fires cost the Oxfordshire economy £ 2.7 million.
Activists have criticized the plans, however.
Simon Clark, director of the Forest smokers lobby group, said, “It is none of their business if adults smoke, and if they smoke outside during work hours, it is a matter for them and their employer, not for the council.
“Nor should it be the job of city councils to force smokers to quit by extending the indoor smoking ban to all outdoor areas where there is no danger to non-smokers.”
He added: “The public will want local authorities to help local businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic. They are also expected to focus on issues such as employment and housing.
“Reducing smoking to meet an idealistic goal is not a priority for most people and the Council’s policies should reflect that.”