County council proposes ban on smoking outside pubs and parks to reach 2025 target

Video report by ITV News Meridian's Penny Silvester

Smoking could be banned in outdoor areas in Oxfordshire, including pub gardens and parks, as part of plans put forward by the County Council.

The move is part of the authority's ambition to become "smoke free" by 2025.

This is defined when adult smoking rates drop to 5% or below.

Credit: ITV Meridian

A public consultation carried out by the county council found that 64% of people supported the Oxfordshire Tobacco Control Strategy which includes:

  • Prevention

  • Local Regulation and Enforcement

  • Creating Smoke Free Environments

  • Supporting Smokers to Quit

What do people in Abingdon think of the ban?

However, campaigners have criticised the plans.

Simon Clark from the group Forest says the decision should not be down to councils.

He said: "Should local councils be getting involved in what is a personal choice?

"Let's not forget tobacco is a perfectly legal product and if people still choose to smoke in this day and age.

"They should be allowed to do so within reason. And it really is not the role of council to get involved in an issue such as this."

Current figures show that just over 10 per cent (10.1%) of adults in Oxfordshire smoke, that is just under 55,000 people (54,804).

Collectively, they spend approximately £73.7m a year on tobacco products.

The council's strategy can be seen here.