Cork smokers’ rights group blasts talk of ban in outdoor eating areas

Cork smokers’ rights group blasts talk of ban in outdoor eating areas

A CORK advocate for smokers’ rights has blasted suggestions that smoking should be banned in some outdoor eating areas as a ‘PR exercise.’

Former health minister James Reilly, now a senator, has suggested that banning smoking in outdoor areas where food is being served will ‘denormalise’ the use of cigarettes.

But John Mallon of smokers’ group Forest Ireland says there is no justification for banning smoking outside, even where food is served.

“Smoking in the open air poses no risk to third parties,” he said. “In the open air, smoke rises, it dissipates and dilutes and is blown away in the breeze. It is not a public health issue.

John Mallon, Spokesman for pro-smoking Forest Éireann.
John Mallon, Spokesman for pro-smoking Forest Éireann.

“You may not like the smell but that is different. A lot of people talk about wanting to bring their children with them and sit outside, I might not like your noisy children running around, but I have to be patient and tolerant because we all have to be,” he added.

Cork publican, Benny McCabe, is also of the view that such a move would be excessive.

“I just think it is nanny state gone berserk, it is gone too far,” said Mr McCabe. “I think it is another anti-choice and anti-business manifestation in this country.

Publican Benny McCabe.
Publican Benny McCabe.

“I don’t smoke or like smoky atmospheres but this is pure ridiculous. It makes no sense.”

Mr Mallon said he is particularly irked to see this idea raised just as the weather finally shows some signs of improvement.

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