An old lady in Bristol, who smoked the biggest part of her life (58 years!) and normally used around 70 cigarettes on the daily basis, said she welcomes the idea to voluntary prohibit smoking in two major city squares. The talk is about Kathleen Butt, aged 69, who tasted her first cigarette when she was 11 and only last year managed to quit this habit.
Anchor and Millennium squares in Bristol today are main public places in Britain to become free of smoke. Here are located many restaurants, shops and the At-Bristol science museum.
The initiative came after 2014 report presented by former health minister Lord Darzi which recommended all cities in the UK to prohibit use of cigarettes in all parks and public spaces.
These days such world’s biggest cities as Toronto, New York, Hong Kong already prohibited use of tobacco in most outdoor spaces, however, in the UK there were made no moves in this direction. Thus Bristol is the first city to follow the example of New York.
A number of surveys demonstrate that more than 50% of residents are in favour of the ban. However, the opposers called the ban “creeping prohibition”.
Ms Butt says that smokers need help and instead of forcing them to change their lifestyles, the authorities should focus on providing all necessary cessation help and support. She knows perfectly how addictive nicotine is, and understands smokers needs. Ms Butt confessed she loved smoking so much that chosen a job which allowed making frequent breaks.
Last year she managed to quit smoking for good with the help of Smokefree Bristol.
According to a study, 53% of people told the voluntary ban on squares was a “good or very good idea”, while 61% agreed the area would be a better place for most if it were smokefree.
Fiona Andrews, director of Smokefree South West believes it is only the beginning and in future more and more public spaces would become free of smoke. There were installed signs on squares saying “Thank you for keeping Bristol smokefree, healthy & clean”.