Calls for smoking to be banned in all pub gardens in Wales
No fag and a fruity cider says governing body
Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) Wales has called for an already present law to be extended to outdoor hospitality areas. The legislation is in regards to a law that prevents people from smoking on the grounds of hospitals, schools, and playgrounds. But very soon, beer gardens could be a smoke-free zone.
Hospitality trade bodies have criticised the move, claiming that it is a "disproportionate step." This claim seems valid, as during the summer months thousands flock to beer gardens to watch football, socialise with friends, or get wasted before moving on to clubs. Smoking has become such a standard in nightlife culture that banning it could affect the revenue of hospitality venues.
"It would impose a burden on our hard-working staff, who can well do without the risk of conflict that could arise when challenging customers breaching the rule especially now, when they are already coping with the extra burden of Covid regulations and maintaining social distancing," said Kate Nicholls, the UK hospitality chief.
The children's commissioner Sally Holland agrees with the sentiment, however, saying that it could "de-normalise" smoking in front of children, which could prevent them from taking up the habit in later life.
The BBC reports that Suzanne Cass, Ash Wales chief executive, is pushing for the legislation to come into effect.
"This is particularly important in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic when many more people choose to sit outdoors when possible and smokers and non-smokers find themselves sitting alongside each other," she said.
Though the legislative move has health at the core of its message, concerns over timing are prevalent among critics. Many fear that due to the pandemics battering of finances, now is not the best time for the move.