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Calls for smoking to be banned in pub beer gardens and outdoor seating areas

However, an outdoor smoking ban in is not universally supported

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A recent study found that 1 in 5 ex-smokers think a ban on smoking in pub beer gardens and outdoor areas would help them quit the habit for good.

The Quitting Smoking for Mental Health study spoke to 1,000 current and ex-smokers from all around the country to find out what measures would be best for smoking cessation.

This was the response they got:

  • 26% wanted a ‘smoking ban in all public places, including hospitals, parks and bus stops’
  • 20% wanted a ‘ban on smoking on pub premises, including pub gardens and outdoor seating’
  •  19% wanted a ‘workplace ban on smoking on the premises and cigarette breaks’

According to smoking cessation charity ASH, the study – which was conducted by Vape Club – discovered that 43.9% of ex-smokers found their mental health had improved since they quit smoking.

It also found that the pandemic has been the driving force behind an ‘astonishing’ quit rate among young smokers, although some stressed concerns that pubs reopening may mean they relapse.



Stephanie Barnes, an ex-smoker, said: “It’s quite a tricky one I’d imagine as some outside pub spaces aren’t big enough to separate the garden but I think separate areas would be a good idea.

“Try and remember how far you’ve come – ie if you quit smoking for three months then what is making you want to start when in a pub? Remember how smoking made you feel, for me it was stomach pains and chesty and remember why you’re so much better without it”.

ASH are calling for the current ‘pop up’ pavement licences to be made 100% smokefree, as a way of helping smokers to ‘quit and stay quit’.

They also want to provide family-friendly spaces, as well as preventing any harm caused by second-hand smoke.


Jonathan James, owner of The Boathouse pub, said: “We see an increase in smoking when people drink alcohol. We are fortunate to have an extensive external space, with tables that are very well spaced and table service for safety with the pandemic.

“While we see no need to implement a no smoking policy as it would reduce trade, I can understand urban venues with limited outside access would have an issue.

“I can imagine that a blanket ban would make it easier for an ex-smoker, simply because they no longer have to tell themselves not to smoke. ‘You can’t smoke’ is much easier than ‘you can but best you don’t smoke’, especially after a few Mojitos!”

However, an outdoor smoking ban in pub beer gardens is not universally supported.

Andres Siimon on Unsplash

Simon Clark, director of the smokers’ group Forest, said: “There is absolutely no justification for banning smoking outside pubs and thankfully there is very little support for it.

“If ex-smokers are so easily tempted to relapse that’s their problem not the publican’s.”

He added: “Demands to ban smoking outside are the last thing publicans need as they try to recover from lockdown.

“Ultimately it’s a matter for them, not government or anti-smoking campaigners, to choose a policy that best suits their business and attracts the largest number of customers.”

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New public toilets opened in Piccadilly Gardens by Manchester council

Good news if you’re bursting for the loo in town…

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Manchester council has opened some new public toilets in Piccadilly Gardens.

The six temporary toilets are in the Gardens now, with the council saying it’s placed them there to make the city centre ‘as welcoming as possible’.

The new toilets are located over the road from Morrisons.

According to a sign on the fencing which surrounds the, the toilets will be open between 10am-8pm every day, with a maximum of six people allowed in the area.

A Manchester Council spokesperson said the toilets were brought in as a temporary measure.

Further restrictions are set to be eased on May 17th, meaning more visitors are likely to flock into town once again

There’s a distinct lack of public toilets in the city centre, with the only permanent loo located on Lloyd Street – and this closes at 5.30pm.

A spokesperson for Manchester City Council said: “In advance of the reopening of the hospitality and retail sectors on April 12 the Council, alongside its partners CityCo and GMP, took steps to provide temporary facilities for the public given that indoor venues remain closed until May 17th.

“The operation of these facilities will stay under review pending further relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.

“The Council has been working closely with city centre businesses to support them as much as possible as Covid restrictions are lessened.

“The hospitality and retail sectors have borne the brunt of the pandemic which is why the Council and its partners have tried to make the city as welcoming as possible for returning visitors.”

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Cleaner leaves brilliant note for ‘aggressive and cruel’ boss on last day of work

Well said

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Stock image - Credit: Aqua Mechanical / Flickr

A cleaner got the last laugh over their ‘awful’ manager on the last day of work, with a brilliant note.

The woman in question had retired after working cleaning different banks for 35 years, leaving a letter for colleagues.

The note was then shared by her son on Twitter, and got an amazing response with most people loving the message.

It was posted with the caption: “And this is why I love my mum. She’s been cleaning banks for 35 years and today walked out with this lovely note left behind for that awful manager.

“Happy retirement mum – always have the last laugh eh!”

The note posted in the tweet reads: “Hi ladies, tomorrow will be my last clean for HSBC. I have made up a bucket of cleaning materials for the next cleaner whoever that may be!!

“I’ve left the job [manager’s name] after the way you dressed me down in the office, it was nothing more than aggressive and cruel but that’s a reflection on your character, not mine.

“So going forward, please all of you remember: In a world when you can be anything, BE KIND.

“Because you are all no better than the cleaner.”

Stock image – Credit: Pixabay

After the post went viral, people were quick to respond to the letter.

One person said: “When interviewing people for jobs, I always asked the reception staff how they were treated by the candidate. A few failed the ‘attitude test’.”

A second added: “Never understood why people think what they do for a living reflects their importance.

“I was raised to believe that a job is a job and anyone getting up and going to work deserves the same respect, whether they pick up trash or run the company.”

A third said: “One of my male managers was repeatedly rude to our lovely cleaner. One day she calmly got up, disappeared for a few mins then reappeared with a really smug look on her face.

“He later discovered she’d removed the bog rolls, towels & soap from the men’s loos, locked them up”.

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Huge queues at Trafford Centre as shoppers wait in the rain for an hour to get in yesterday

Did you head down yesterday?

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Connor Clarke / Twitter

In typical Manchester fashion, yesterday’s Bank Holiday Monday was an absolute washout.

This didn’t stop people from heading out to do a bit of shopping, however, with huge queues seen at the Trafford Centre.

According to reports, shoppers queued for an hour to get into the shopping centre, with some people forced to wait in the rain.

While signs in the car park were put up to let people know the centre was ‘full’, shoppers still headed in, with one saying social distancing wasn’t being observed.

Meanwhile the Trafford Centre responded by saying that customer safety is its ‘highest priority’, adding that ‘strict capacity limits’ are observed inside the shopping centre.

20-year-old Connor Clarke from Trafford told the Manchester Evening News: “We were standing in the queue in the rain for about an hour, it was just not moving.

“There was no distancing whatsoever, a lot of people weren’t wearing masks. I can understand it’s obviously outside, and it’s a well ventilated area.”

According to Connor people who were queuing were eventually allowed in, he added: “I think they just gave up and let everybody in.”

Zoe Inman, centre director at the Trafford Centre, told the MEN: “Our highest priority is to keep people wishing to enter the centre safe at all times. We have strict capacity limits and social distancing measures in place to keep everyone safe.

“We have advised visitors to plan their trip carefully and check our website for store opening information and current COVID-19 restrictions in advance.

“Highlighting that at busier times, such as weekends and Bank Holidays, they may have to queue to get in – and should come prepared for the weather.

“Face coverings are mandatory and must be worn when entering the centre, in stores and when walking throughout the malls, unless exempt.”

She added: “Bank Holidays are always popular at the centre, and this weekend is no exception.

“Our security staff are committed to making sure all the safety measures remain in place, like capacity limits, hand sanitisation stations, mandatory mask wearing and enforced social distancing.

“On occasion, this weekend we have been at capacity and customers have had to wait to enter the centre. We thank everyone for their patience and consideration whilst doing so.

“I am proud of our dedicated on-site teams working tirelessly to ensure the safety of all our visitors across a very busy and blustery Bank Holiday weekend.”

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