In the news: Call for smoking ban in London parks

A new report has been created by the former health minister and cancer surgeon Lord Ara Darzi for London’s Health Commission, in which he calls for a smoking ban to be placed around London’s most famous tourist attractions such as Trafalgar and Parliament Squares, as well as in London parks.

The BBC News coverage of the story explains how in the report, Lord Ara Darzi draws attention to the fact that out of all the adults in London, half are obese or overweight, as well as there being 1.2 million smokers in the city. The report calls for changes to be made in order for London to take the first steps towards making public areas smoke-free.

The report created for London’s Health Commission also calls for other measures to be taken to create a healthier London. Motions such as preventing fast-food outlets from opening near schools, and implementing the traffic light food labelling system on restaurants with more than 15 outlets are mentioned.

An article from the Telegraph indicates that if the mentioned smoking ban were to be put into place, 40 per cent of London would become smoke-free. Whether or not the ban would include e-cigarettes was not addressed in Lord Darzi’s report as the Telegraph explains, due to the information surrounding their effect still being uncertain.

Both reports explain how parks in New York City, including Central Park, have already taken on a smoking ban that extends to their beaches, too.

Although this may be seen by some as a positive step towards creating a healthier population, BBC News reports on how the plans have been deemed “outrageous” by the director of Forest, a group for smokers.

If you’d like to read more about the report published by London’s Health Commission, further information can be found here.

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