We take a look at the smoking ban being implemented at a Welsh beach on National No Smoking Day 2016. Words: Katie Avis-Riordan
How would you feel if you were asked to stop smoking while on your local beach? What do you think about having someone smoking right next to you when you are sunbathing?
Smoking and vaping have been prohibited at the idyllic Little Haven beach in Pembrokeshire, Wales, in an effort to improve the health of young people.
The beach, which won the Seaside Award (Rural) in 2015, is the first to trial ‘no-smoking’ signs in a year-long experiment launched by Pembrokeshire County Council.
The ban comes into effect on Wednesday, March 9, National No Smoking Day. There will be no penalties in place for ignoring the ban but people may be approached and politely requested not to smoke.
Initiating the ban, Pembrokeshire County Councillor Huw George, said: “We take public health very seriously. We want to do as much as we can to protect our children from smoking and to promote a health and well-being environment for all.”
35 pupils from nearby Broad Haven Primary School were due to take part in the launch on the beach at Little Haven. The number is relevant as it equates to the approximate number of children who take up smoking every day in Wales alone.
“Two–thirds of smokers start before the age of 18,” said Councillor George, Cabinet Member for Environmental and Regulatory Services. “We know children are at particular risk from second-hand smoke and that they are more likely to start smoking themselves if they see adults doing it in a family-friendly environment.”
Dr Ruth Hussey, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, said: “The measures on tobacco and e-cigarettes in the Public Health (Wales) Bill look to prevent renormalisation of smoking behaviours. Making Pembrokeshire’s stunning beaches smoke-free reinforces the work being done by the bill and Pembrokeshire Council should be commended for their work towards a smoke-free Wales.”
The ban not only relates to public health but also environmental. The Marine Conservation Society said that estimates of the time it takes for a cigarette filter to degrade at sea vary from 12-15 years.
What do you think? Let us know!