I’m banning smoking, everywhere! | Rebecca Jane

Well, would you believe it? In last week’s Express, I gave ITV daytime rather a lot of grief.
Rebecca Jane, head of group operations at PH7 GroupRebecca Jane, head of group operations at PH7 Group
Rebecca Jane, head of group operations at PH7 Group

I said how I was sick of their presenters shouting over debate guests, should the guest be offering an opposing view to the presenter.

I’m absolutely supportive of conversations, debates or whatever other terminology you use to describe ‘fancy arguments’. I am absolutely against being told what to do, and not allowed to express and opinion (and let’s face it, I have a few...)

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I even went as far as saying, despite having graced ITV sofa’s for over 10 years, I don’t expect to be hired again!

My column last week got a lot of ‘reaction’ , shall we say. The majority was ‘healthy debate’, which is always welcome. Some was entirely outrageous, a lot was exceptionally supportive and some incredibly personally abusive.

Wednesday I wrote up a literary storm and virtually buried my own TV career, by Thursday, ‘Good Morning Britain’ was on the phone.

I was booked by GMB for Friday, debating if smoking should be banned in outdoor restaurants.

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Councils around the country have banned outdoor smoking, and I couldn’t agree more. Don’t just ban it outdoors, let’s go the whole hog and ban it all together.

Covid has changed the world we live in forever. It has divided families, friends, communities and countries. It has ruined entire industries. Destroyed mental health. Cost the NHS, the country and everyone a fortune. More importantly we have paid an incomprehensible and immeasurable price in the loved ones we have lost.

We forewent seeing our family, friends, loved ones, we were forced to work from home, forced to STAY home, ‘protect the NHS’ and ‘save lives’.

We were banned from just going for a drive to help ‘protect the NHS’. Just in case we had an accident and needed urgent care, our hospital services were so overwhelmed.

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We stood on the streets and clapped, put posters in windows, crikey, I even had a 15 foot rainbow put on the front of my house in a display of solidarity.

Covid-19 is a respiratory virus... a virus affecting your lungs. Surely, our nation will welcome ANYTHING to ‘protect the NHS’, ‘save lives’ and protect the health of everyone around us?


48% of people last Friday, following my live television debate were ‘up in arms’. Voting to keep smoking outdoors .The weekly clapping sessions, desperate need to protect the NHS and our loved ones seemingly now out of the window.

Thankfully, the other 52% majority sided with me to ban it all together!

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If you want to protect the NHS and save lives, let’s start by banning the very thing that:

- Causes 78,000 deaths per year.

- Contributes to 41,000 deaths, amongst non smoking adults and 400 infant deaths – via second hand smoke.

- Increases your risk of over 50 serious health conditions.

- Causes 70% of lung cancer cases.

Before anyone jumps down my neck and starts the:

- Let’s ban alcohol

- Let’s ban junk food

- Let’s ban car pollution

And the argument that was my personal favourite....

‘This Rebecca wants smoking banned, but has no problems injecting her lips...’

Correct, I don’t!

However, if we’re going to use this old chestnut of an argument to keep smoking, why don’t we do away with every law our country has ever had? Make it a mass free for all? I’m sure the country will run super smooth then.

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My decision to inject my lips, or how much alcohol I do or do not consume does not affect the health of those around me. Smoking does.

At some point, we have to draw a line somewhere, so why not ban smoking!? The public are speaking for us, smoking popularity is in rapid decline. In 1974, 45% of the UK population smoked, today 14% smoke.

Our country is sending out a strong message... we’re not a smoking nation!

After the year we’ve gone through, it is time to send this disgusting habit up in smoke for good!

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And as for me, it’s a tough job being a National gobby madam, but someone has to do it. I may not echo your voice, you may not even like my voice, but I guarantee you, I speak for SOMEONE’s voice!

Feel free to tell me you disagree with my views, I’m here for it! Let’s talk about it. I won’t keep quiet, and neither should anyone else.

Healthy debate makes the world go round. If everyone who speaks their mind, has no intention to offend or personally attack and converses with fellow humans in dignity, the world would be a much better and more educated place.

Unfortunately for some, it seems I’m sticking around for a little while longer yet.

Much love.