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Scottish smoking ban eased

05 May 2005

A breakthrough in legislation for the forthcoming Scottish smoking ban is good news for smokers who want a fag in their hotel rooms.

The proposed ban, due to take effect from March next year, will include a clause allowing hotels to designate smoking bedrooms.

Stephen Carter, general manager of St Andrews Bay hotel in Fife, welcomed the extra flexibility. "I do believe in restrictions on where people can smoke in public, but I also believe we need to cater for those guests who wish to smoke," he said.

Under the original bill, if smokers lit up in their bedrooms, the hotelier would have been liable for the fine for not implementing the law.

This exemption, agreed in principle by the Scottish Executive's health committee, was welcomed by the British Hospitality Association (BHA), which had campaigned for it on the industry's behalf.

Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the BHA, said: "We're pleased it's agreed in principle, and hopefully in the future similar laws will be passed in England and Wales."

Fines for smoking in undesignated areas will be up to £1,000 for individuals and £2,500 for businesses failing to enforce the ban.

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