Should smoking be banned in St George's Square? Council launches public consultation

St George's Square
St George's Square

Luton Council has launched a consultation on proposals to make St George’s Square a smoke-free zone.

Following a successful move earlier in the year to make all council-owned play areas smoke-free, the proposals for St George’s Square are part of the council’s drive to make key Luton spaces free from second-hand smoke, particularly in locations where children are present.

A smoke free area is a designated space where people are asked not to smoke tobacco, and while it is not enforceable, has been successful in other town centres.

Areas being considered as smoke free as part of the consultation include the whole of St George’s Square or a second option which would be just the inner boundary including the area accessing The Mall entrance and outside Costa Coffee.

Before making any decision the council wants to hear views from people who visit the area, along with nearby businesses and residents.

Cllr Rachel Hopkins, portfolio holder for Public Health, said: “The council wants to promote smoke-free areas for children, young people and families to enjoy while reducing children’s exposure to second-hand smoke which is very damaging to their health.

“While most people don’t smoke, and those that do smoke most say they want to quit, this can be very hard especially if those around you are smoking.

"With the cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes ranging from £8 to £12, an average spend of £50 per week is quite common, keeping far too many families in poverty which the council is determined to address.

“Smoke-free areas, like St George’s Square, is one initiative we hope will support a smoke-free generation and start to realise health equity for all. We have given this proposal much consideration and your views are important to us, so please participate in the consultation.”

To have your say on the consultation visit www.luton.gov.uk/consult and complete the survey by Thursday 31 October.

The smoke-free initiative is a partnership between the council’s own public health, parks, street cleansing, environmental health, highways and communications teams, along with The Mall and Luton Bid.

A smoker is three times more likely to quit with expert advice and support so get in touch to start feeling the benefits and stop smoking for good. Call 0300 555 4152 or email info@totalwellbeingluton.org.