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Fresh statement on smokefree pavement cafes

Four local authorities, including Northumberland county council, Durham, North Tyneside and Newcastle, have introduced smokefree stretches of pavement where bars, restaurants and cafes are licensed to put out tables.


Commenting, Ailsa Rutter OBE, Director of Fresh Balance, said:

 “Fresh welcomes the leadership that is being shown by local authorities in the North East in addressing smoking as both our biggest killer and a significant cause of health inequalities.


“This approach makes complete sense.  Less than one in seven people now smoke and most people are in favour of entirely smokefree seating areas. 


“It is also really important to remember that we’ve seen record numbers of people quitting during the Covid pandemic which is fantastic.  But relapse is common and smokers often make many attempts before they successfully quit.  Making pavement cafes smokefree can really help to provide a supportive environment for those smokers who are trying to quit and to stay quit.


“Smokefree outdoor areas have been in place in many countries around the world for a long time and all the evidence points to high levels of compliance, public support and improvements in wellbeing.


“Like the smokefree law that was introduced in 2007 – one of the most popular and successful public health measures ever – smokefree pavement cafes is a largely self-enforcing policy so we’re not expecting the need for enforcement.  The vast majority of people will welcome the smokefree environment.”