Pharmacy2U By Published:

Staycation Brits would support beach smoking bans during the summer holidays, a national opinion poll has indicated.

More than half (57%) think Brighton’s proposed no smoking beach plans should be considered for other British resorts – and 48% of all surveyed said it would make traditional seaside towns more attractive places to visit.

Just under a third (31%) of the 2,024 British adults who took part in the survey felt smoke free beaches would be a step too far. One in eleven (9%) said a smoking ban would speed the decline of Britain’s seaside holiday towns by putting smokers off.

The independent survey commissioned by the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service also found that people worry more about how they look on the beach (42%) than the possibility of breathing in cigarette smoke (17%).

Other findings included:

–       One in five (19%) would travel further to visit a no smoking beach.

–       The under 35s felt most strongly that beaches should be smoke free during the holidays (67%). 45–54s are most opposed, with 42% saying ‘no’ to a ban in Britain.

–       Regionally, people from Wales (63%), London (64%) and the South West (60%) appear to support the idea of no smoking beaches most.

–       Nationally, 60 per cent think smoking should be banned in playgrounds. 45 per cent said smoking shouldn’t be permitted in outdoor restaurants and more than a third (36%) think there should be a ban in parks.

–       40 per cent also think drinking alcohol should be banned on beaches and public parks.

Dr Nitin Shori, Medical Director of the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service and a working NHS GP, said: “There does appear to be public support for smoking bans on Britain’s beaches – although more people say they are concerned about sunburn, litter, rowdy behaviour and how they look on the beach, than breathing in second-hand cigarette smoke.”

The research also investigated the nation’s smoking habits. It indicated one in 15 (7%) of those who tried to stop smoking in the past 12 months said they decided to quit because the current smoking ban made it less appealing to smoke socially.

Dr Shori adds: “The popularity of smoking has been on a downward trend since the risks became more widely understood in the 1970s. Smoking is still a major cause of preventable disease and premature deaths in Britain, so health worries tend to be a big driver for patients who decide to quit. Its addictive nature means it can be a tough habit to break and although some succeed through willpower alone, others find nicotine replacement or prescription medication is helpful.”

The survey found one in 50 had successfully quit using Champix (Varenicline) tablets to reduce their desire to smoke. Many used nicotine replacement therapy, such and gums and inhalers, and one in ten (10%) said e.cigarettes had helped.

About the research 

ICM interviewed a random sample of 2,024 adults aged 18+ in GB through online interviewing between 24th – 27th July 2015.  Surveys were conducted across the country and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.  ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.  Further information at www.ICMunlimited.com