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Total smoking ban pressure grows

21 June 2005
Total smoking ban pressure grows

Pressure group Smokefree Liverpool has described the Government's proposed smoking restrictions for England as illogical and unfair.

The group, in partnership with Liverpool Council, aims to introduce a city-wide blanket ban through a local act of Parliament.

Councillor Mike Storey, Leader of Liverpool City Council, said existing proposals don't go far enough. "We need to protect all employees who are exposed to smoking in their workplace; a partial ban just wouldn't work."

On Monday (20 June) the Government launched a three-month consultation on last November's plans to limit smoking in enclosed public places. If adopted, smoking in most workplaces will be banned, including pubs serving food that needs refrigeration.

However, the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has argued that only a full ban would help save many thousands of lives a year.

A spokesman said: "One bar worker dies every week as a result of passive smoking at their workplace. In addition, many thousands are made ill. This is unacceptable."

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) said it believed the Government would drop its proposals and opt for a full ban in the face of criticism from the health lobby and hospitality trade.

ASH director Deborah Arnott said: "It is clear that the exemptions are unworkable and undermine the health benefits of the legislation. Smokefree laws have worked in Ireland, the US and elsewhere around the world. Our message to [Health Secretary] Patricia Hewitt is seize the moment."

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