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TOTAL SMOKING BAN WELCOMED

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Local government has welcomed MPs' decision to ban smoking in all enclosed public areas....
Local government has welcomed MPs' decision to ban smoking in all enclosed public areas.

The total ban will be easier to enforce than the government's previous proposal to allow smoking to continue in pubs that do not serve food, and private members' clubs.

Cllr David Rogers (Lib Dem), the chairman of the Local Government Association's community wellbeing board, said: 'This is the only kind of ban that could possibly work.

'Exempting places that served food would have caused chaos, and allowing smoking to continue in private members' clubs would have been unfair to the people who work there.'

Among the other options floated by the government had been smoke exclusion zones in the vicinity of bars to

protect pub staff - a proposal some feared would present environmental health officers with the difficulty of monitoring varying smoke levels in different parts of the premises.

The ban, which comes into force in summer next year, will not lead to protection for social carers and other council staff who undertake home visits, as smoking will be permitted in places regarded as a home.

Ian Gray, a policy officer of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, said: 'We will be active in ensuring that even when smoking is to be allowed, the principles of occupational health and safety are applied so that workers are protected wherever possible.'

The government has announced fines for failing to prevent smoking will be increased from£200 to£2,500.

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