Potential Welsh beach smoking ban to encourage more families
Published: Monday 15th Jun 2015
Written by: Anita Lee
The beaches of Pembrokeshire are known for their natural beauty and strong environmental record. Now, if the local government gets its way, some of them will become smoke-free to encourage more families to visit.
Council plans were recently released to create one of the country’s first “non-smoking” beaches at Barafundle Bay. Officials expect the ban to be extended to other beaches in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. They say they are taking this step to discourage young people from starting to smoke while they are away on holiday in Wales.
Local Support for the Ban
“We want young people to think that smoking isn't the norm and want to instil in them a healthy lifestyle,” said council environment chief Huw George.
George added there are environmental benefits to the smoking ban. He said the measure would curb the problem of discarded cigarette stubs littering the beaches. They then get caught up in the tides and are endangering fish and sea birds, he said.
Anti-smoking campaigners have said the measure is positive because of the popularity of the area. Jamie Matthews from Action on Smoking and Health Wales said “it is an area where young people are influenced by adults smoking. If they sit around smokers on beaches, they are exposed to second hand smoking.”
Maintaining environmental standards
The council is expected to give the ban the go-ahead later in the summer so it is in place for the start of the holiday season next year. Pristine, family-friendly beaches are one of the main reasons why so many visitors choose to spend time in our holiday cottages in Pembrokeshire.
Fifteen of Pembrokeshire’s beaches have received a top award called the Green Coast Award, a symbol of high environmental standards. It was created to acknowledge, promote and protect the environment of the various beaches in Wales.
According to the environmental programme, the aim of the Green Coast Award is “to acknowledge those beaches which meet guideline water quality and are prized for their natural, unspoiled environment.”
Image Credit: Hippy-dippy (flickr.com)