3rd January 1972

Guernsey bans smoking in public places

Guernsey has always led the way where banning smoking is concerned. Aurigny became the first airline in the world to ban smoking on all of its flights and Guernsey Prison banned smoking on New Year’s Day 2013 – almost three years before the rest of the British penal system. It was only the second prison in Europe to introduce a smoking ban.

The prison smoking ban was implemented with so few problems that it was studied by the prison service of England and Wales in advance of a similar ban being introduced on the mainland. The prison at Les Nicolles introduced courses to help prisoners overcome their nicotine addiction and sold e-cigarettes on-site. Speaking to The Guardian, governor Dave Matthews said that where a dispute did arise and was blamed on the nicotine ban, looking a little further would usually reveal the root cause actually lay elsewhere.

A hefty penalty

But Guernsey’s move towards becoming smoke-free, or at least smoke-reduced, began long before that when, on 3 January 1972, it introduced a ban on smoking in cinemas, theatres and on buses. Anyone caught breaking the law was fined £25, which might not sound like much now, but with the average British salary of the time being £1,512, it was almost a full week’s pay.

The ban has been extended over the years, to the point where it now applies in most indoor places other than private homes. Guernsey was the first place in the British Isles to ban smoking in all enclosed public spaces, which it did in 2006.

The States has taken a lead in reducing tobacco consumption over the years, and even ruled on what constitutes acceptable workplace smoking shelters. It dictates that at least half of the shelter’s sides must be open and that there must be no direct connecting door between the workplace and the shelter itself.


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Other events that occured in January

Alderney elects its first president 1st
Guille and Alles open their library 2nd
Guernsey bans smoking in public places 3rd
Guernsey Press registers its domain 4th
Guernsey Zoo is sold as a going concern 5th
Guernsey opens its wartime files
Guernsey Police moves to its new headquarters 6th
Guernsey Fisher makes its maiden voyage 7th
Work begins on the Val des Terres 8th
A hotel porter goes on trial for murder 9th
Guernsey Police Service appoints its first inspector 10th
Royal theft inquiry heads to Guernsey 11th
Channel Express Airways plane crashes in Guernsey 12th
Sibyl Hathaway, Dame of Sark, is born 13th
Channel Television disappears 14th
Benefactor Osmond de Beauvoir Priaulx dies 15th
MV Prosperity is wrecked at Perelle 16th
Guernsey’s Royal Court sits for the first time 17th
Doctor Who travels to Guernsey 18th
Channel 4 gameshow Treasure Hunt comes to Guernsey 19th
Hanois Lighthouse is cut off by the weather 20th
Guernsey-built prototype plane crashes 21st
Guernsey Steam Tramway stops running 22nd
Radiant Med sinks with loss of life 23rd
Guernsey wins gold at the Commonwealth Games 24th
Sark is awarded Dark-Sky status 25th
Guernsey passengers are battered by storms 26th
Sir Isaac Newton has his say on a mysterious Guernsey invention 27th
Guernsey’s last witch trial takes place 28th
Guernsey poet George Métivier is born 29th
The States of Guernsey proposes a new airport 30th
Guernsey lifeboat performs a chemical tanker rescue 31st