Mayor Boris Johnson has been in New York on an arduous fact-finding mission meeting his counterpart Mayor Bloomberg.  I hope he took the opportunity to discuss the proposal that New York’s smoking ban inside buildings should be extended outside as well – with a view to adopting a similar approach in London.

There is no doubt that the ban on smoking in workplaces, restaurants, bars and inside places of entertainment has been hugely beneficial to the health of both smokers and non-smokers alike.

However, the cloud of toxic smoke outside buildings, on pavements and in the so-called open air, as unreformed addicts puff away is now more and more noticeable as one becomes increasingly used to the relative purity of the air inside buildings.

It would be deeply unfortunate if New York succeeds in making its city more attractive by extending the smoking ban as envisaged.  London cannot be allowed to lag behind on this.  I trust that Mayor Johnson will not allow London’s competitive position to be eroded.  Do your duty Boris.

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