A bar and grill in Liverpool has become the first in the UK to ban smoking in its outside beer garden.
The owners of Barbacoa in Crosby, Merseyside, said they had become fed up with the space at the back of their restaurant becoming “an al fresco smoking lounge”.
After giving the garden a complete refurbishment they unveiled the “lovely new beer garden” – complete with “no smoking” signs – with pictures on Facebook.
The new measures were brought to the attention of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, the UK’s only charity dedicated to fighting the disease for which it says tobacco smoking is “the main cause in the vast majority of cases”.
The charity was so impressed that it created a new award scheme to recognise “the efforts of businesses within the hospitality industry that provide completely smoke-free beer gardens and/or outdoor eating areas for their customers”.
It said Barbacoa was the first restaurant or bar it was aware of that had done so – and issued it with the inaugural Fresh Air Award.
Barbacoa owner Gordon Tartt said: “Customers were complaining that the outside of the restaurant was becoming an al fresco smoking lounge so we’ve created a place where people can eat and drink in a smoke free environment.
“During the fine weather people want to go outside but many were turned off by the huddle of smokers.
“It’s already proving extremely popular and we’re delighted to receive the very first Fresh Air award.”
Melody Holt, tobacco control manager at the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, told the Mirror: “This is the first smoke free beer garden that we’re aware of and we would encourage other establishments to follow their lead.
“We believe it’s really important that when people step outside for fresh air, that’s what they should get rather than clouds of smoke. The dangers of passive smoking are well-known.”