WE reported on how a new strategy hoping to make Oxfordshire the first ‘smoke-free’ county in England by 2025 is aiming to discourage workplace smoking areas.

Plans for how to ‘deliver a smoke free Oxfordshire’ are being considered later this week, a year after the strategy was first launched.

ALSO READ: Smoke-free strategy could cut fag break spots from Oxfordshire workplaces

One of the key aims this year is to prevent more people from smoking cigarettes and one of the ways Oxfordshire public health officials plan to do this is to ‘support the implementation of smoke free indoor and outdoor places’, including workplaces.

We asked our readers on Facebook whether a cut to smoke breaks at workplaces is fair. Here’s what you said:

MICHAEL HOLDING: “As an ex-smoker, I miss the occasional break from the desk to stand up, move around and grab a coffee and cigarette. I would even argue moving away from the desk for small breaks helped me focus on work related tasks without the distraction of telephone calls, emails, work colleague conversations etc. 

“I could argue that the occasional cigarette break made up for the 10-minute lunch hour from time to time. Yes, there are smokers out there that take the mick and are out every 10 minutes of course.”

APÁTI ZSOLT: “Well if someone has 15 tea breaks and chit-chats for about two hours around the office (or on the floor) a day about anything other then work, then the one who works hard deserves that extra fag break. End of the day/week get the job done, that’s it.”

STEPHEN BRAND: “Maybe we should start telling people what they can and can’t eat on their lunch breaks. Obesity is just as big of a cost to the NHS, similar to the effects of smoking. Also as an ex-smoker I think smoking is sometimes a scape goat for a lot of illnesses.”

GARY FRANKS: “It would be nice not to have to walk through clouds of smoke as you walk into a building.”

RACHEL MONTGOMERY: “I just think taking away designated areas won’t help the situation. It won’t stop those that want to smoke. I feel it will make the situation worse, people will just smoke and discard their butts, leading to mess and even worse, heightening the risk of fires.”

SALLY SNAPPER: “Stop smoking outside of hospitals first. Physically ill patients and staff in uniform is not a good look.”

JOEBY ONEKANOBI: “I don’t agree with demonising smokers more than they are now (I am a non smoker myself), but this I can really get behind. Since working in a hospital it really is amazing how many patients won’t do physio that will aid recovery but will happily go outside for a cigarette.”

NEIL O’SULLIVAN BEARÈ: “All for it, get rid.”

IAN CLARKE: “I chose to start smoking, chose to continue smoking then chose to stop smoking. Stopping smoking is achievable for all although for some I accept it can be difficult. 

“Smoking generates significant tax revenue to the Government, but not enough to fund the additional NHS resources needed to deliver treatments for disease and cancer. Apologies to you smokers out there but I think we should raise tax revenues on smoking products.”

SARAH WILLIAMS: “Then people who smoke will go further away from work and waste more time on their fag breaks. As a non smoker it annoys me that people get ‘more breaks’ already than I get. But not sure this is the way to stop it.”

ADAM HUCKSTEP: “If the Government really wanted people to stop smoking, it would be illegal.”

RALPH AUSTIN: “You can’t stop people smoking. They’ll smoke if they want to. Banning the sale of cigarettes wouldn’t work either because people will just buy them on the black market.”

KAREN KAZ MUSILOVÁ: “I’m a smoker myself, and I actually agree with this. This would make trying to quit easier.”

JASON EL-ISSA: “People with cigarette breaks don’t get extra breaks at all. That’s a ridiculous notion you are entitled to have the same break just go get some air or something.”

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