A 12 week consultation has been launched asking the public for their views on extending smoke-free zones in the city.
Questions include whether residents consider it ‘anti-social’ to smoke in outdoor areas where people are eating, and if extending the ban would increase the likelihood of people visiting restaurants and pubs.
The aim is to create an environment free of second hand smoke, particularly for children.
Councillor Daniel Yates, chair of the City's Health and Wellbeing Board, said businesses would only be encouraged to adopt smoke-free zones on a voluntary basis.
“We wanted to see what people’s attitudes were to smoking where people are eating and drinking," he said.
“Currently the inside of pubs and restaurants are legally smoke free, but not outside areas. We would certainly not be looking at any additional compulsory smoking restrictions to business, other than the existing smoking ban, but depending on the results of the consultation we may want to work with businesses to encourage smoke-free outdoor areas on a voluntary basis.”
Tim Healey, co-owner of Brighton bistro Kooks, told BigHospitality that banning smoking in the restaurant’s outside seating area would do little to damage sales.
"Much as we wholly respect the decision of any of our lovely customers who choose to sit outside our restaurant and smoke, we do not feel a ban will impact on our business,” he said.
“We believe that our offering is strong enough for customers to visit us for the ambience, service and quality of food and drinks that we offer - whether they smoke of not. It was widely rumoured that the EU ban on smoking in restaurants would decimate restaurant attendance. This never happened and restaurants have never been more popular.”
The council is also considering restricting smoking on Brighton beach, where a large number of restaurants and pubs operate.
The consultation will run until 13 October, after which the Health and Wellbeing Board will make a decision on implementing the scheme.