Patio Heaters Warming Up Smokers, Climate

The long awaited UK anti-smoking laws have taken effect, and it's now illegal to smoke in any public enclosed space, including bars. The law is intended to keep the air clear for those that don't want to breathe second hand smoke, but may actually contribute to pollution outside.

A lot of bar managers have been investing in outdoor patio heaters to allow smokers a bit of comfort as they puff away near the front door. These 40,000 new gas heaters could contribute up to 320,000 tonnes of CO2 per year - as much as a small city.

"It's pretty sad that keeping warm while you have a cigarette is more important than tackling climate change, especially in a country familiar with simpler remedies to chilly evenings such as the woolly jumper," said Ben Tuxworth, of the environmental charity Forum for the Future. (Read Sami's earlier post about patio heaters in the UK, here)

Ironically, the law to clean the air inside will create dirtier, warmer air outside. Personally I often enjoy the smell of second hand smoke, but I realise that others don't. However, to play devil's advocate for a second, maybe some bars could be allowed to apply for smoking licences - why penalise people because of their addiction? ::Daily Mail