Live updates

Public smoking debate sparked by London park report

Medical officials have called for London's leading landmarks and parkland to become smoke-free in a bid to improve the health of the capital.

There was support in Trafalgar Square today for the tourist traps to force visitors to permanently stub out their cigarettes and cigars.

But others, including Mayor Boris Johnson, were reluctant to see London join other major cities in tightening its smoking rules, as ITV News Correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones reports.

Advertisement

  1. London

Former Olympics minister backs London smoking ban

Former Olympics minister Dame Tessa Jowell today called on Boris Johnson to introduce a smoking ban in London's parks.

Boris Johnson and Dame Tessa Jowell Credit: PA

Dame Tessa is regarded as a potential Labour candidate for City Hall in 2016.

A new report has urged to make parks and open spaces like Trafalgar Square smoke-free zones.

But Johnson appeared hesitant, saying there needed to be clear evidence it would save lives.

The Mayor must adopt Lord Darzi’s proposals for smoke free parks in full. We need to make the healthier choice the easier choice for Londoners. The Mayor has a proposal sitting at his feet which could mark the start of a serious public health crusade in the next decade in London.

As Lord Darzi’s report states, every week two classrooms of London children take up smoking. Every year, 8,400 Londoners die from smoking – the number one cause of preventable deaths in our capital city. He must seize this opportunity to build a coalition of support across our city to tackle London's shocking health inequalities.

It is also crucial that the Mayor accelerates his plans to improve air quality, every year over 4,000 Londoners die prematurely due to poor air pollution. He has less than two years left as Mayor, but it is not too late for him to leave a legacy of public health improvement for our great city.

– Dame Tessa Jowell

Smoking campaign group slams 'outrageous' proposals

The director of Forest, a group that campaigns on behalf of smokers, has called proposals to ban smoking at some London landmarks and parks "outrageous".

A ban on smoking in parks and squares would be outrageous. There's no health risk to anyone other than the smoker. If you don't like the smell, walk away.

Tobacco is a legal product. If the Chief Medical Officer doesn't like people smoking in front of children she should lobby the government to introduce designated smoking rooms in pubs and clubs so adults can smoke inside in comfort.

The next thing you know we'll be banned from smoking in our own gardens in case a whiff of smoke travels over the fence.

– simon clark, director, forest

Advertisement

Smoking in cars ban would 'reduce health conditions'

Banning smoking in cars when children are present would reduce the number of youngsters suffering from second-hand smoke related health conditions, the Welsh health minister has said.

Our aim is to protect the health of children and young people from the harm associated with exposure to second-hand smoke when travelling in private vehicles.

Changing the law would protect children from the health harms associated with exposure to second-hand smoke in private vehicles, encourage action by smokers to protect children from second-hand smoke and lead to a reduction in health conditions in children caused by exposure to second-hand smoke.

– Mark Drakeford

Wales considering banning smoking in cars

A ban on smoking in cars with children in England was backed by MPs in February.

Smokers in Wales who spark up in their car while travelling with an under-18 passenger could soon face a £50 fine, according to the Welsh Government.

A six week consultation on plans to issue on-the-spot fines to drivers caught with a cigarette in their hand was launched today.

The Welsh Government says the ban would protect children from toxic second hand smoke.

"Some people light up in their cars without thinking and believe that opening the window will help disperse the smoke; however it simply blows back into the car," said Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.

"Children cannot escape from the toxic chemicals contained in second-hand smoke when travelling in vehicles."

E-cigarette warnings 'baseless nonsense'

The director of one of the UK's biggest e-cigarette companies has called warnings about health problems associated with the products are "baseless nonsense".

Charles Hamshaw-Thomas, legal and corporate affairs director at E-Lites, said:

""Study after study is showing that scaremongering that e-cigarettes are luring people into tobacco is baseless nonsense. The reverse is going on - smokers are switching into e-cigarettes as the way to reduce the harm from tobacco."

Load more updates