The majority who responded to the consultation strongly opposed the idea.
Proposals to ban smoking in Brighton and Hove’s beaches have been scrapped, after 72.7% of people who responded to a consultation strongly opposed the idea.
Brighton and Hove City Council commissioned a survey to see if it should extend its smoke-free areas in the city to beaches, parks, and open spaces. Although the survey showed those who responded were overwhelmingly opposed to banning smoking on beaches, the majority - both smokers and non-smokers - agreed that entrances to play parks (58.6%), schools (63.8%), and children’s centres (64.3%) should become smoke-free.
As a result of the consultation, Brighton and Hove City Council’s health and wellbeing board, will consider supporting the extension of smoke-free areas outside schools, play parks and children’s centres, but dropped the idea for beaches and parks.
Public health officials could also be asked to work with restaurants and pubs to encourage smoke-free outdoor areas on a voluntary basis - as there seemed to be an appetite for this.
Cllr Daniel Yates, chair of the health and wellbeing board, said: “I believe the measures that are being suggested are a common-sense approach and an appropriate reflection of the views of our residents and visitors.
“We’re delighted with the level of response to this consultation.”
Campaigners welcomed the news that Brighton and Hove Council has dropped plans to ban smoking on beaches and in parks.
Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest which urged the council to reject proposals to ban smoking in outdoor public places, said: “We’re delighted the council has taken this decision. There is no justification for banning smoking in the open air. Hopefully this will send a strong message to other councils considering similar policies.
“Banning smoking in outdoor public spaces is not only a step too far, it’s also very unpopular with the general public.”
There were 1,898 respondents to the consultation, with 63% living locally. Visitors made up 31% of the survey, and the rest were from community groups or businesses.
The consultation asked whether people would be more or less likely to visit beaches if smoking was banned. A total of 58% said they would be less likely to visit, with only 13.4% saying it would make them more likely to go the beach.
The results showed 24.9% of respondents were regular smokers, 17.3% smoked occasionally, 34.7% were former smokers, and 23.1% had never smoked.
Only one in five supported a smoking ban in parks, historic gardens and beaches. Even among non-smokers, there was no majority support for a ban.
The consultation will be discussed at the health and wellbeing board meeting on Tuesday, from 4pm at the Brighthelm Centre. To view the results of the consultation, visit: bit.ly/1PYTrKe