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Home   Kent   News   Article

Teen Michael Cottrell hits out at smokers

01 January 2013

Michael Cottrell and his friend Joseph Kilsby objecting to smoking outside shop doors

sawilliams@thekmgroup.co.uk

A teenager has expressed his disgust at having to breathe in other people's second-hand smoke when he walks through Ashford town centre.

Michael Cottrell, 14, of Park Farm, said: “I find that in the town centre all you see is people smoking, particularly near the entrances to shops and McDonald’s.

“I – and a lot of people I know – are getting fed up with walking around town and just having to hold our breath because we do not want to inhale the smoke. You see people with babies smoking around them and not giving a care – I hate that.”

Michael’s own mother, Wendy Cottrell, smokes, and this has made him even more determined to never take up the smoking habit.

“I have never even tried it, and I never will,” he said. “I think the reason a lot of teenagers start smoking is because they see other people doing it and they want to try it; it’s peer pressure basically.”

Cigarettes

Michael says he is also fed up of teenagers being stereotyped as smokers and troublemakers, which he says is inaccurate and unjust.

He says he totally backs the ban on smoking in enclosed public places that was introduced in 2007, but now believes that smoking should be banned in busy pedestrian areas too.

The St Anselm’s, Canterbury, student added: “I feel that banning smoking in ‘high traffic areas’ would be best, meaning that people couldn’t smoke directly in the town but can smoke in areas like alleyways or ‘lower traffic areas’.”

Ashford McDonald’s franchisee Chris Symons said: “We want to ensure a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment is available for all of our customers.

“We have been notified of some concern around smokers congregating at the entrance of the restaurant.

“We will be monitoring this closely and will take action as necessary.”

 

What the people of Ashford think

Pro-smokers

James Goldfinger Hazeldon: “Why can’t people realise there are more important things in life than worrying and moaning about secondary smoke.”

Nicola Harper: “If all smokers stopped ... where is that tax going to come from ..... your pockets!”

Micky Christie: “May as well ban cars and buses in town as well because the fumes from them aren’t any good either.”

Hayley Giles: “I’m not a smoker but what people do is down to them, you can’t smoke in pubs any more, no need to ban it anywhere else. It isn’t going to stop people from smoking. If you don’t like smokers then don’t walk behind them or near them.”

Lisa Todman: “Surely smokers are alienated enough.”

Sarah Kurkowski: “As long as there isn’t a risk to others, do what you want. I smoke but have consideration for those that don’t and only smoke in places where it’s safe, like out of the way of busy areas and away from children.”

Lydia Jayne Weller: “There are many other issues much more important than stopping people smoking.”


Smoking stock picture

What the people of Ashford think

Pro-smokers

James Goldfinger Hazeldon: “Why can’t people realise there are more important things in life than worrying and moaning about secondary smoke.”

Nicola Harper: “If all smokers stopped ... where is that tax going to come from ..... your pockets!”

Micky Christie: “May as well ban cars and buses in town as well because the fumes from them aren’t any good either.”

Hayley Giles: “I’m not a smoker but what people do is down to them, you can’t smoke in pubs any more, no need to ban it anywhere else. It isn’t going to stop people from smoking. If you don’t like smokers then don’t walk behind them or near them.”

Lisa Todman: “Surely smokers are alienated enough.”

Sarah Kurkowski: “As long as there isn’t a risk to others, do what you want. I smoke but have consideration for those that don’t and only smoke in places where it’s safe, like out of the way of busy areas and away from children.”

Lydia Jayne Weller: “There are many other issues much more important than stopping people smoking.”

Anti-smokers

Paula Dawes: “At the William Harvey Hospital people literally stand in front of the main doors chuffing away without any consideration to the sick people, elderly, children and newborns that are passing in and out. Have a bit of consideration!”

Hayley Martin: “I am asthmatic and I can’t breath when someone is smoking around me. Walking behind someone who is puffing away is vile especially for poor babies in buggies.”

Kayleigh Taylor: “As someone who has never smoked I don’t want to breathe in second-hand smoke and I don’t want my kids too. Standing right by doorways and breathing smoke over my kids isn’t right.”

Sarah Conway: “I am a smoker but I do agree with the non-smokers to an extent, when you’re walking into a shop and you have to walk through a cloud of smoke that’s been breathed out by someone else is it is nasty, especially for a child.”

Zoe Rushforth: “We should considered the huge costs to the NHS from smoking related diseases. As for smoking outside, it’s better that than inside - the pub smoking ban was brilliant.”

 

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