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Every social smoker's favourite activity could soon be banned as a new proposal looks to scrap smoking in beer gardens.
The move comes as part of a review conducted by Dr Javed Khan, who is hoping to move towards a smoke-free 2030.
While the move may seem controversial, it's part of a crackdown to help the British public kick the habit.
Javed, who also suggested the legal smoking age should be raised every year until no one can buy cigarettes legally, has introduced the new proposal by comparing it to past bans: "Looking back, it's hard to believe that banning smoking inside pubs and restaurants could ever have been so controversial. Now, even smokers back the law. Yet we are still exposing children and families to second-hand smoke in pub gardens and pavement cafes across the country.
"Worse still, some outlets have devised 'smoking shelters' so extreme, that while technically within the law, they offer staff and customers next to no protection from the toxic smoke. Indeed, for many shisha bars, this is a fundamental part of their business model," he added.
The expert went on to say: "People who rent with local authorities or are with a housing association are nearly 3 times more likely to smoke than those who have a mortgage."
For Khan, the new proposal is a natural progression from the 2007 smoke free legislation that banned smoking indoors, in bars and in restaurants.
It isn't just pub gardens that Khan wants to make smoke-free, as he went on to suggest that all hospital grounds should be smoke-free.
As the public seem to be behind stricter smoking measures, Khan suggested that vaping could be a better option for smokers.
"I have spoken to the very best academics and scientists across the country and internationally. They all told me that vaping is far less harmful than smoking."
Though Khan did note that there is a lot of confusion and misinformation about vaping: "This is not saying that vaping is a 'silver bullet' solution. Or that vapes are totally risk free."
However, he went on to say: "The research we do have is clear that they are at least 50% and probably closer to 95% less harmful than a cigarette."
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