Smoking to be banned outside council owned buildings

People caught lighting up, or using an e-cigarette, outside council owned buildings face being fined.
People caught lighting up, or using an e-cigarette, outside council owned buildings face being fined.

Wakefield Council is going smokefree by introducing a ban on smoking outside its buildings from September 1.

The council is taking the step as it and its partners want the next generation of young people in the district to grow up in a smokefree environment.

Coun Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health at Wakefield Council, said: “We want smoking to be seen as an unusual habit which becomes far less visible and less commonplace in the future, than it currently is in day to day life.

“The policy is part of a plan to enable young people to grow up in places that support their health and wellbeing.”

It is estimated that 3,870 fewer adults in Wakefield are smoking this year compared to 2015, after the district’s rates dropped to 21.9 percent from 23.4 percent in a year.

The district however still has higher smoking rates than the national average of 16.9 percent for England and 18.6 percent for Yorkshire and the Humber.

As part of the new policy anyone visiting council premises, including visitors, contractors and employees, will not be permitted to smoke or use e-cigarettes outside the building. Fines will be issued to anyone who disregards the policy.

Coun Garbutt said: “Attitudes towards smoking have changed a lot since it was banned from inside public buildings in 2006. This is the next logical step in broadening our smoke-free areas.

“People tell us that they really dislike having to walk through smoke when entering buildings and this policy will help to bring an end to this practice. Almost 80 percent of the population don’t smoke and we want to support them.

“We are also sympathetic to smokers and want them to be aware of the help that is available to them.”

Across the Wakefield district there is support available to help people stop smoking.

For help and advice on how to quit smoking visit http://wakefield.yorkshiresmokefree.nhs.uk

Alternatively, go to the Wakefield Quit Smoking shop at 21 Northgate, Wakefield, WF1 3BJ. For opening times call 0800 612 0011. Advice to stop smoking is also available in pharmacies and GP surgeries.