Stoke-on-Trent city council is the latest local authority to jump on the anti-smoking bandwagon.
According the BBC News website:
People in Stoke-on-Trent are being asked about proposals to "control" smoking in some public spaces.
The city council will launch a public consultation on its plans in October and, depending on the results, will seek to make some areas smoke-free.
The report (Stoke-on-Trent City Council approves Hanley smoke-free plans) includes a quote from Forest.
That headline, btw, is inaccurate. If I read the report correctly, the council has approved plans for a consultation. It hasn't (yet) approved plans to extend the smoking ban to outdoor areas, one of which is Hanley bus station.
Then again, we all know where this is heading.
It reminds me of the three or four year period before MPs voted for a national workplace smoking ban.
Prior to the 2005 election the Labour government showed very little desire to introduce a comprehensive, nationwide ban. Instead it was rumoured Tony Blair was happy to leave it to local authorities to decide their own policy.
One day therefore I would find myself addressing a council committee in Plymouth. A few weeks later I'd be doing the same in Middlesbrough, then St Albans, and so on.
A decade or so later we're facing a similar situation, but the issue now is outdoor smoking.
The question is, how soon will it be before an MP or minister (Jane Ellison perhaps) tries to drive through legislation for a national ban on smoking in outdoor public spaces.
Don't give them ideas, I hear you cry. Don't worry, I'm sure someone has already thought of it.