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Public would support full smoking ban, survey claims

22 August 2005
Public would support full smoking ban, survey claims

New research has found ministers' assertion that people in England and Wales do not support a full ban on smoking in public places is a myth.

The poll also found that 85% of those surveyed would visit bars and pubs more often if they became smoke-free.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which commissioned the report, said pubic support was higher than in Ireland before that country introduced a ban in 2004.

ASH added that stubbing out smoking would be the only way to save 600 workers' lives a year ended by the effects of second-hand smoke.

ASH director Deborah Arnott said: "The idea that the public will not back an end to smoking in pubs and bars - where employees and customers are at most risk from second-hand smoke - is simply not true."

The Government is currently proposing to exempt pubs that do not serve prepared food from smoke-free legislation included in the Health Improvement and Protection Bill, largely on the grounds that there isn't full public support for a ban.

Consultation on the new bill ends on 5 September and it is expected to be laid before Parliament in November. The law will only affect operators in England, as Scotland is already pursuing a complete ban and Wales is to be given the power to legislate independently at a later date.

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