A FOOTBALL club has announced a total ban on smoking and vaping around its stadium, despite concerns it will be “impossible” to enforce.

The ban at Billericay FC’s New Lodge stadium will mean the community pitch and lower car park areas will no longer prohibit smoking and vaping.

Both have already been banned in stands and under roofed areas.

The decision has been met with a mixed response among the community, with one fan questioning how the rules will be enforced.

They said: “I have never smoked but believe this is a ridiculous decision.

"It would be impossible to enforce unless you have stewards/security patrolling throughout games.”

Billericay Town Councillor, Edward Sainsbury, has been more supportive, adding: “I can’t believe this wasn’t done sooner; this is a much positive step forward for the stadium to take.”

The total ban is due to come into effect on July 18.

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It follows a general trend within football which has seen more and more stadiums become smoke-free through the introduction of bans on cigarettes and E-pens.

However, some English football league and Scottish Premiership grounds have permitted spectators to vape and even allow products to be sold on the premises.

Basildon Council leader Andrew Baggot, who represents Burstead Ward, is another who has welcomed the steps taken by Billericay FC, adding the club was setting a good example.

He said: “Although it’s best not to micromanage, I welcome the decision made. We have to be more health conscious in regard to these things, sadly those who do smoke not only have a negative effect on themselves but also on others.”

“It is not just a health risk, but it also causes an air pollutant in terms of smell, I have had many complaints in my surgery of people complaining of the very strong smell of marijuana and vaping.

“I believe more venues should follow their example.”

Biilericay Town declined to comment further on its plans for a blanket ban on smoking and vaping at New Lodge.