Boris urged to ban smoking in London parks and squares

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has been urged to introduce new bylaws banning smoking in public parks and squares across the capital.

Such a move could make London one of the most health-conscious cities in the world, and would be the biggest crackdown on smoking since legislation in 2007 banned smoking in pubs.

The recommendations follow a major review of health across London by health advisors appointed by the mayor.

Under the plans, smoking would be banned in Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square, and the mayor could be expected to use his influence to put an end to smoking in the 10 Royal Parks, for which he is responsible for appointing the board.

The mayor set up the London Health Commission in 2013, in order to help persuade more of London’s 1.2 million smokers to quit.

Cancer specialist and former Labour health minister Lord Darzi is the chair of the commission. He said: “It would be a powerful message for the iconic centre of our city and the political heart of our country to become smoke free.

“What better way to show our city’s ambition to be the healthiest major global city.”

Meanwhile, the former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, said that outlawing smoking in public areas of New York had seen life expectancy rise by three years during his 12-year tenure.

However, it remains to be seen whether Johnson will want to intervene. Speaking about the plans, he said: “If we were to consider a ban on smoking in parks, we would need pretty clear evidence that this would have direct health benefits – in other words that it would actually save lives.

“It is time for London to have that debate.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • If anything the bylaw should be more simple, no smoking in any public space.

    Smoking is not only bad for the victim, but also for those who breath the secondhand smoke. It causes unnecessary strain on the NHS, just because smokers pay high tax on smoking it's doesn't give them the right to use up limited NHS resources. Not talking about just money here - there are limited numbers of doctors and nurses!

    Great believer in individual freedom, but not when it costs everyone in society.

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