Oxford to be cigarette free city?

first_imgAn Oxford city councillor has called for a citywide ban on smoking in public places, provoking anger from city pubs and students. Susanna Pressel is urging the council to review the benefits and dangers of smoking in pubs and restaurants, in light of the successful implementation of such bans in New York and Republic of Ireland. Oxford City Primary Care Trust has welcomed Ms Pressel’s suggestions. Recent medical evidence suggested that smoking in the workplace causes 700 premature deaths a year. Pressel did express concern about the possible implications on the city’s traders if such a ban was imposed, but said, “if pubs and clubs can cope with the ban then I think it would be very good idea.” Her suggestions have angered the city’s pubs. “It would have an absolutely terrible effect,” said David Benefield of the King’s Arms; “In Ireland trade has dropped by 75%; there would be a public outcry here.” St Peter’s finalist Christopher Hallebro, a non-smoker, said that it was “an outrageous intrusion into people’s civil liberties.” The anti-smoking group ASH applauded Pressel’s suggestion and disputed Benefield’s facts. “The tobacco industry has claimed that they have suffered a 30% decline, but the hospitality sector dispute that there was any impact at all,” said spokesman and Oxford graduate Ian Willmore. Willmore said he was an occasional smoker during his time here at Oriel. “I don’t think I was aware then of the dangers to other people’s health.”ARCHIVE: 4th week TT 2004last_img read more

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