Council tenants could be banned from smoking in their own homes

A public health chief has revealed that council tenants could soon be banned from smoking cigarettes inside their own homes in a radical bid to protect children and residents from second hand smoke.

New tenants may be required to sign an agreement pledging not to smoke indoors before they move into housing association or local authority properties.

Since 2015 smoking in cars has been illegal and this is the latest government scheme to help reduce the number of people suffering from second hand smoke.

Professor John Middleton, president of the Faculty of Public Health, told the Sunday Times that adults smoking in homes damaged the development of children’s lungs and put babies at risk of cot death.

He said: “Housing associations and councils are looking at smoke-free housing buildings.

“Where children are involved I think there is a real case for it.

“You wouldn’t evict a load of tenants for smoking.

“Where you have got new premises, you could have smoke-free agreements from the start.”

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of anti-smoking charity Ash, said people were often “frustrated by councils’ and social landlords “failure to take action”.

However, Simon Clark, director of the pro-smoking campaign group Forest, claimed the ban “would penalise unfairly those who can’t afford to buy their own homes”.

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