We support the development of comfortable outdoor spaces for smokers where bans have forced them outside
We know many people don’t want to breathe second-hand smoke, dislike the smell of tobacco smoke and avoid smoky places. However, there are ways to reduce the exposure to smoke but not banish smokers – and not leave people who smoke feeling discriminated against.
That’s why we support restrictions on smoking in indoor public places including offices, restaurants and bars.
Some countries have adopted strong measures banning all smoking in indoor workplaces and in enclosed public places, and a small number have also banned smoking in some outdoor public areas.
We believe people should not smoke around children, including outdoor areas primarily intended for them. Nonetheless, we believe general restrictions on public place smoking in outdoor areas go too far.
Effects on smokers' behaviour
Smoking bans do not necessarily influence people to quit - instead some smokers might simply change where and when they light up.
For example, in Great Britain in 2009, 21 per cent of adults said they were smokers in the government's Office for National Statistics general lifestyle survey - unchanged since 2007 when a comprehensive public places indoor smoking ban came into effect across the UK.
The average number of cigarettes smoked had also changed little since the early 1980s - 14 a day for men and 13 a day for women.
Similarly, in 2011 the Chief Medical Officer of Ireland stated that smoking prevalence was still at the same level as it was before the introduction of the country’s smoking ban in March 2004 at about 28 to 30 per cent.
We believe that governments, employers, the hospitality industry, the tobacco industry, consumers and others can work together on practical initiatives. These include providing separate smoking and non-smoking areas and ventilation to reduce involuntary exposure to second-hand smoke.
Air filtration systems can also make a room more comfortable. Although they cannot completely remove the smoke, they do offer a relatively inexpensive alternative where built-in fresh air ventilation systems are less feasible, perhaps because of the size and complexity of a building.
Many of our companies also support the hospitality industry to accommodate all of their customers in restaurants, convention centres, cafes, bars, clubs and hotels, by assisting with technical analysis of ventilation and owners allocating flexible smoking and non-smoking areas. We also support ways to improve consumer education about butt littering.
Read our views on second-hand smoke and health.