Forest Ireland has slammed a government health plan that aims to extend the smoking ban to outdoor areas.
“There is no justification for banning smoking in outdoor spaces,” said John Mallon, spokesman for Forest Ireland, in response to the Healthy Ireland Strategic Action Plan 2021–2025, which was published May 11. “Smoking in the open air poses no health risk to anyone other than the smoker. Coming out of the pandemic, the last thing the hospitality industry needs is the threat of smoking being prohibited outside pubs, cafes and bars.”
The action plan would “promote and oversee implementation of the Tobacco Free Ireland Policy,” which includes “progress[ing] and expand[ing] the creation of tobacco-free spaces in community settings,” along with other targeted actions.
“Tobacco is a legal product, and smokers have a right to light up in outdoor spaces without restrictions designed to force them to quit,” Mallon said in a Forest press note. “The war on smoking has become a war on ordinary people who just want to be left alone to live their lives as they choose without excessive government intervention.”