Scotland will become the first part of the UK to go completely smoke free in all enclosed public places on 26 March next year.
The Scottish Parliament yesterday voted overwhelmingly in favour of a bill that will save the lives of thousands of hospitality workers and customers.
First minster Jack McConnell said the Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill would improve the nation's health and significantly cut rates of smoking-related disease.
"This legislation is one of the most important decisions that has been made since devolution," he said.
Health groups Cancer Research UK and Action on Smoking and Health hailed the move, but urged Westminster to follow suit and introduce a total smoking ban in England.
But the chief executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, Paul Waterson, accused the Scottish Executive of dictatorially introducing a ban on smoking in public places and pledged to fight on against it.
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