Campaigners in Ireland say a ban on smoking in al fresco dining areas would be ‘unfair and unreasonable’ and will ‘do nothing to improve public health’.

These comments were made in response to a poll carried out on behalf of Claire Byne Live and that found that 64 percent of people would like to see smoking banned in outdoor areas where food is served. Thirty percent said ‘no’ to the ban and six percent were undecided.

“Pubs, restaurants and cafés are private businesses. Whether they choose to allow smoking outside, where there is no risk to anyone else’s health, should be up to them,” said John Mallon, spokesman for the smokers’ group Forest Ireland.

“Pubs in particular took a huge hit from the smoking ban with many closing as a direct result. Why should the future of many more businesses be put at risk on the altar of tobacco control?

“Enough’s enough. Banning smoking outside, even in al fresco dining areas, is unfair and unreasonable and will do nothing to improve public health.”

According to a story in The announcing the results of the poll, even without legislation in place, an ‘increasing number of restaurants have been extending smoke-free zones to outdoor areas…’. 

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