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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

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‘Smoke shop’ to be opened in South Lakes

A CAMPAIGNER plans to open a pro-smoking shop in Cumbria to support his bid to get the law changed.

Steven Simon is moving to the Lake District and hopes to obtain a lease for a small unit to sell T-shirts promoting his campaign while offering a place for smokers to meet and chat.

Funds raised would be used in his drive to urge the government to overturn the smoking ban.

Mr Simon said smoking generated £17bn for the economy and he wants pubs to be able to offer “smoking rooms” so people do not have to go outside to light up.

Mr Simon said: “The smoking ban has to be amended because it is achieving nothing.

“Give us an area inside – why should I accept that I am forced outside in winter to smoke?”

The property consultant, from Leeds, said while the loss of some pubs was related to drink prices, the smoking ban has also had an effect.

He is moving to the Lake District and chose Kendal as a place to launch the shop as he feels he will get a greater response than in a city.

He said: “In Germany and Holland, they have overturned the ban. I don’t know why we can’t in this country. I respect non-smokers and I don’t want to inflict my smoke on them, but I feel the victimisation of smokers has gone too far.

“We are in harsh economic times, people are worried about their jobs and feeding the family, and smoking is one of the last remaining pleasures for the working man.”

Mr Simon said he was angry about suggestions to expand the smoking ban into public parks and motor vehicles.

A spokesman for NHS Cumbria said it “respected everyone’s right to freedom of speech”.

Su Sear, public health partnership specialist, said: “For many people smoking is a lifestyle decision, but it is important any smoker is aware of the impact smoking has on their health.”

Have your say

If smoking is that bad for us then ban it along with everything else. Strangely poison is not only sold but given out on prescription to patients on the NHS Smokefree brigade. Yes of course nicotine isn't the prime killer here but don't give with one hand and take away with the other.

Posted by Elliot on 4 February 2012 at 20:23

Martin: Fair point.

Posted by Mike on 29 January 2012 at 07:55

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