AFTER MP’S voted in new legislation which will ban smoking in all public places, how will this affect York students on campus?
Well for many of us who are in second or third years not at all as we will no longer be here. But for first-years, the new law will see considerable changes to the way smokers go about their day to day life. All campus bars and events will prohibit all smoking. This will mean anyone who wishes to light up will have to leave the event and smoke outside as all corridors will also be smoke-free zones.
However, it is less clear as to how college rooms which currently allow students to smoke in them will be affected. The bill states that members of the public in private housing will be allowed to smoke but as university corridors are communal it would seem likely that all campus accommodation will also become non-smoking areas. The university when asked about how the legislation would be implemented said that it was “too early to say”.
The ban which is already been implemented in the Republic of Ireland is due to be introduced in Scotland during this spring and in Northern Ireland in April 2007. And health ministers warned that the new legislation is likely to see people who choose to smoke in non-smoking areas being fined £2,500 which is an increase over a thousand percent on current fines which are a maximum of £200.
Concerns have been raised to what will happen if smokers are forced outside. With some environmentalists predicting further rises in greenhouse gas due to increases in the number of patio heaters. The heaters according to the Radio 4 Today show account for “over a million tonnes of CO2 gas every year in the UK alone. This will cancel any benefit from an in increase vehicle taxation.