The head of a pro-smoking organisation has urged smokers to ‘light up’ in defiance to a ‘ban’ at some outdoor events in Nottingham.

The comments are in relation to Nottingham City Council’s announcement last week that there will be a ‘voluntary ban’ where people are encouraged not to smoke at outdoor events at Market Square and Nottingham Castle.

Dave Altherton, Chairman of Freedom2Choose, said:” What can people do to defy this? Light up. They’re not breaking any laws.

“It’s certainly a breach of freedom. all people are doing is consuming a legal. product”

He continued, “There is precious little evidence that smoking inside affects others’ health, never mind smoking outside.

“With the smoking ban in pubs they sent smokers outside and where do you think children are going to see it more? If this is about influencing behaviour its complete hypocrisy. “

In a survey conducted by Nottingham City Council, 91% of people were in favour of having outdoor events in Nottingham non-smoking.

The ban is only voluntary so there will be no fines or arrests, but people are specifically being asked not to smoke.

Nottingham is the just the second city in the UK to lead such an initiative, following Bristol.