South West Wales

Little Haven beach smoking ban to last indefinitely

Little Haven beach Image copyright Chris Gunns/Geograph

A ban on smoking on a Pembrokeshire beach will be extended indefinitely.

The 12-month trial began on Little Haven beach in March 2016 and the council said it would continue "for the foreseeable future".

Little Haven - along with Swansea council-owned Caswell Bay on Gower - are the only beaches in Wales with a ban, which is voluntary in both places.

Smokers' lobby group Forest has questioned the need for such a ban in the first place.

Pembrokeshire council said it hoped it could extend the ban to other beaches "if we can garner support".

No other councils in Wales have any kind of smoking ban and they have all said there were no plans to introduce them.

The ban at Little Haven, which includes e-cigarettes, was the first in the UK and was followed in April 2016 by Caswell Bay.

As the bans are voluntary, no fines or punishments are enforced.

Image copyright Jeremy Bolwell/Geograph
Image caption Caswell Bay is one of only two beaches in Wales that has a smoking ban in effect

A council report said litter checks during the summer months at Little Haven "did not find any smoking-related litter".

Random visits during normal working hours of the peak season "did not report any sightings of smokers on the beach".

The report said "while no detailed surveys were undertaken" the information indicated the pilot was self-regulating so recommended it continue "subject to the support of the relevant town or community council".

Simon Clark, director of smokers' group Forest, said: "There's no evidence that smoking in the open air poses a risk to anyone else's health so this is not a public health issue.

"On the rare occasions a beach is crowded with people, on a sunny bank holiday for example, smokers should use their common sense and show consideration for those in close proximity."

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