Smok­ing should be banned out­doors near food

Bray People - - OPINION - with Deb­o­rah Cole­man

AMOVE is on to ban smok­ing in out­door premises which serve food and it can­not come quickly enough.

While out smok­ing ban was con­tro­ver­sial at the time, it re­ally was a pro­gres­sive move and has com­pletely en­hanced the com­fort of cus­tomers in restau­rants, pubs and clubs.

It took a while for smok­ers to get used to mov­ing to a des­ig­nated smok­ing area to in­dulge, but very quickly, it be­came the new nor­mal.

How­ever, there is no way that any­one should be per­mit­ted to smoke in any area where food is served.

Pic­ture, the scene...it’s a rare sunny sum­mer day in Ire­land and you de­cide to head out for a spot of lunch. You are seated in a com­fort­able ter­race and just about to tuck into your meal when your neigh­bour lights up a cig­a­rette and blows sec­ond hand smoke in your di­rec­tion as you eat. Dis­gust­ing.

I’m aware that smok­ing is not il­le­gal, and those who wish to do so are per­fectly en­ti­tled, but why, oh why must they be al­lowed where peo­ple are try­ing to eat.

There is noth­ing worse than be­ing sur­rounded by a cloud of cig­a­rette smoke when en­joy­ing a cof­fee or a meal.

We get so few fine days in this coun­try where we can ac­tu­ally sit out­side any es­tab­lish­ment com­fort­ably, that these ar­eas shouldn’t be the pre­serve of the smok­ing pop­u­la­tion, but be­cause these ar­eas are not used all year round, they are unof­fi­cially claimed by smok­ers.

The ar­gu­ment for smoke free out­door seat­ing ar­eas is not be­ing made sim­ply to de­prive smok­ers of their in­dul­gence, but be­cause their habit is so an­ti­so­cial, it can­not be pri­ori­tised over the com­fort of cus­tomers who are there to eat.

The sec­ond hand smoke is also health con­cern and is makes no sense that non-smok­ers should be made to put up with some­body smok­ing right be­side them just be­cause they choose to sit out­doors.

No­body in their right mind can ar­gue that smoke isn’t an is­sue in small half-cov­ered ar­eas which are a fix­ture in many cafés and bars in Ire­land.

Be­cause it is out­side the main premises, doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean that it is suit­able for smok­ers, and cer­tainly per­mit­ting cus­tomers to smoke right be­side din­ing ta­bles shows a lack of re­gard for those who pre­fer to eat in a smoke-free en­vi­ron­ment.

No­body in their right mind can ar­gue that smoke isn’t an is­sue in small half-cov­ered ar­eas which are a fix­ture in many cafés and bars in Ire­land.

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