Brighton beach could become smoke-free under plans to extend the current ban on lighting up in pubs, cafes and shopping centres to be considered today.

Deckchairs on Brighton beach
(Lauren Hurley/PA)

Proposals to widen the smoking ban to outdoor public areas will be discussed by Brighton and Hove City Council as it meets to decide whether public consultation should go ahead.

If agreed, the consultation period will run from Wednesday for 12 weeks.

Brighton already has a voluntary ban on smoking in children’s play areas, but now the city’s parks and beaches could become smoke-free too – a prospect which angers the smokers’ group Forest.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the health charity Ash (Action on Smoking and Health), said the move could be good for the environment as well as health.

“Smoke-free beaches could provide a safe and pleasant environment, particularly for children, as well as reducing the amount of cigarette butt litter on beaches, which doesn’t degrade quickly and is harmful to wildlife.”

Some people seem to be welcoming of the idea.

But others are sceptical.

A national smoking ban on workplaces and enclosed public areas was introduced in July 2007, and in October this year tobacco-smoking in cars carrying children will also be outlawed in England.

Smoking is the primary cause of premature death and preventable illness in the UK and is attributed to more than 80,000 deaths a year.