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London and Liverpool go it alone on smoking

02 December 2004 by
London and Liverpool go it alone on smoking

Liverpool and London are pressing ahead with plans to introduce a smoking ban in all public places because they believe the Government's proposals for a partial ban in England don't go far enough.

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Authorities' bills could take at least a year to become law
Liverpool City Council and the Association of London Government (ALG) are seeking a blanket ban on smoking in enclosed public places via private bills submitted to Parliament last week. The Government's White Paper on health published last month proposed a ban on smoking in all enclosed public places that serve food, but exempted wet-led businesses (Caterer, 18 November). London and Liverpool's private bills are being put forward on health and safety grounds, and if successful, would be similar to laws already in force in Ireland and New York. The passage of the bill through Parliament will be similar to that of a Government bill. If successful, Liverpool and each individual London council will be granted powers to introduce complete smoking bans. Liverpool council claims the city has one of the highest rates of deaths from lung cancer in the UK, while the ALG, which represents the 33 London boroughs, predicts 1,000 people die in the capital each year as a direct consequence of passive smoking. Both view the Government's partial ban as unworkable. Sir Robin Wales, chairman of the ALG, said: "People have the choice of smoking or not, or whether they wish to stay in smoke-filled environments. However, those working in our leisure venues don't have that choice." The authorities expect their bills, if accepted, to take at least a year to become law. *Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 2 December 2004*
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