SMOKING could be outlawed in outdoor beer gardens as part of a radical new plan to help Brits kick the habit.
The proposal is part of an independent review into tobacco led by Dr Javed Khan OBE, who also wants the legal age for cigarettes to rise each year until no one can buy them.
The review, which was published this morning, wants to "increase smokefree places to make smokefree the social norm".
It argues that despite the 2007 indoor smoking ban, children and families are "still being exposed to second-hand smoke in pub gardens and pavement cafes across the country."
It added: "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."
Around six million people smoke in England – and tobacco remains the single biggest cause of preventable illness and death.
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And Downing Street has not ruled out implementing a ban on smoking in beer gardens, instead saying the Government-commissioned review into smoking will be "carefully considered".
The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "I'm not going to jump ahead and start opining on different recommendations, this is a detailed piece of work which needs to be carefully considered and then we will set out our view."
Dr Khan also listed a string of dramatic recommendations to make the country smokefree by 2030.
It includes smokers not being allowed to light up in their council house.
The proposal also suggests an investment of £125 million per year in 'interventions to reach smokefree by 2030', £70 million for stop smoking services, and an additional £15 million to enhance illicit tobacco enforcement for local trading standards.
Other proposals include raising the age limit of tobacco sales by one year every year, substantially increasing its cost, and the introduction of a license for retailers to limit the availability of tobacco.
The review also recommended a campaign to promote anti-smoking messaging that would see all films, TV shows and online media that show tobacco 'display an on-screen health warning while such imagery is visible'.
Recent data also shows that one in four deaths from all cancers are estimated to be due to smoking – including lung cancer, throat cancer and acute myeloid leukaemia.
What Are The Recommendations?
- To raise the age a Brit can smoke by a year every year – so eventually no one will be allowed to buy a pack
- To paint cigs green or brown
- To mark each one with the specific number of 'minutes of life lost'
- To ban films which show smokers before the 9pm watershed
- To give all new films with smoking scenes an 18 rating
- To ban people who live in social housing from smoking in their own home
- To ban lighting up in beer gardens and other public places
- To jack up the price of a pack by 30 per cent overnight
Dr Khan said:“A smokefree society should be a social norm – but to achieve this, we must do more to stop people taking up smoking, help those who already smoke and support those who are disproportionately impacted by smoking.
“My proposals are not just a plan for this government, but successive governments too. To truly achieve a smokefree society in our great country, we need to commit to making smoking obsolete, once and for all."
Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Deborah Arnott said: “Javed Khan’s report sets out an ambitious vision, combining a call on government to increase investment in tobacco control with tougher regulations, both of which are essential to achieve a smokefree 2030.
“This is what the public wants too – research by YouGov commissioned by ASH to provide evidence for the review shows a substantial majority support stronger government interventions to tackle smoking.
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