Bristol City Council has recently banned smoking in the public spaces of Millennium and Anchor Squares. The areas are two of the busiest in the city and the ban is likely to be met with both support and opposition.
Recently named the European Green Capital, Bristol is the first city in UK to initiate the pilot project by Smokefree South West. The director of the project, Fiona Andrews, anticipates that the initiative will offer a smoke-free environment to the “benefit of kids and families.”
Signs were put up in the designated zones, thanking people for keeping Bristol smoke-free, healthy and clean. Students have reacted to the ban strongly, some happy, while others show signs of discontent.
Olivia Aten, a UWE journalism student, expressed her dissatisfaction with the initiative: “I do not support this project as it goes against the rights of smokers. They should be allowed to smoke in outdoor areas without harassment.”
On the other hand, another UWE student Raj Sian, said: “Whether it’s a popular outdoor place or not, second hand smoking is still dangerous so I fully support the project. I hope it is successful.”
The ban is voluntary as of now and SmokeFree South West expects the scheme to police itself. Fiona Andrews expressed her excitement over it, hoping that it would have a “lasting impact” not only in the two public squares but also on the wider region.
By Aditi Verma