Suffolk: Smoking ban hailed as success in county


Cigarette - Credit: PA

Fewer than 100 fines have been handed out to people for flouting the smoking ban in Suffolk, new figures have revealed.

Despite some landlords blaming the loss of trade on the no smoking legislation, statistics show a large proportion of owners and drinkers have complied with the law.

Figures, released under a the Freedom of Information Act request, reveal that seven district and borough councils across Suffolk issued only 96 fixed penalty notices to people caught breaching the ban since it was introduced on July 1, 2007.

Those fined include taxi drivers, kitchen staff, licensees, managers and owners of premises.

According to the responses, council officers in the Mid Suffolk and Babergh districts have not had to dish out a single fixed penalty notice.

Seven have been issued in St Edmundsbury, nine in Suffolk Coastal, 12 in Forest Heath and 17 were handed out in Ipswich.

Topping the fixed penalty notice fine list was Waveney with 51.

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A Waveney spokesman said: “Our successful Incident Ticketing Scheme takes littering and smoking very seriously and often the fixed penalty notices are issued in situations where cigarette butts are thrown from trade vehicles.

“In this situation, and as per the smoking legislation, the vehicle is considered a place of work.

“As a council we are determined to come down heavily on individuals who ignore this important law and the high figures are a reflection of our success in dealing with such incidents.”

Two taxi drivers in Ipswich have been prosecuted at magistrates’ court for smoking in a licensed vehicle while a third case is pending.

The figures have been welcome by anti-smoking charity ASH (Action on Smoking and Health).

Research manager Amanda Sandford said: “The figures show that the ban is working very well and that the vast majority of people abide by the law.”