Smokers cover your ears, Labour’s mayoral candidate Tessa Jowell says she’ll ban smoking in parks and squares if she beats Boris Johnson to the job in the forthcoming elections.
Tessa supports cancer surgeon Lord Darzi’s call to outlaw smoking in Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and the Royal Parks. She cites New York’s smoking ban in Central Park as an example of the scheme working successfully.
She says: “The recommendations are all grounded in evidence and have public support – 59 per cent are in favour of a ban. Lord Darzi has looked at the very radical proposals that Mayor Bloomberg introduced in New York. These have been tried and tested. Similar protections should be offered to Londoners.”
Meanwhile, in camp Bo-Jo, the Mayor reckons we can make health decisions for ourselves. He says: “One of the glories of London is that we are generally pretty laissez-faire about how people live their lives. If we were to consider a ban on smoking in parks, we would need pretty clear evidence that this would have direct health benefits – in other words, that it would actually save lives.”
What do you think? Let us know in the comments below. In the meantime, light up willy nilly in London’s parks if you so wish.