No smoking zone

FROM Summer 2007 all workplaces and public places will be required to be smoke-free under government legislation. A BRMB poll in January this year found that the public support smoke-free public places, with 70 per cent of those polled saying they support

FROM Summer 2007 all workplaces and public places will be required to be smoke-free under government legislation. A BRMB poll in January this year found that the public support smoke-free public places, with 70 per cent of those polled saying they supported a full ban.

Under the new legislation fixed penalty fines of £50 could be handed out to smokers who light up in a public place, and workplaces who don't take steps to prevent smoking could also be handed hefty fines.

Before this legislation comes into force workplaces such as the leisure centres can make their own decisions about their smoke-free policy, but they should bear in mind that more and more people will begin to boycott establishments that allow smoking. It is easy to understand concerns that children are being exposed to second hand smoke, as this can cause bronchitis, asthma and pneumonia.

Around 25 per cent of the English population are smokers, so consequently 75 per cent of the population do not smoke.

There is local support for workplaces and public places who wish to go smoke-free before legislation and advice on how to comply with forthcoming legislation. This support and advice is given free of charge by Smoke Free Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, the local tobacco control alliance. Please e-mail or telephone me on 01480 398585 or zoe.harvey@cambsphn.nhs.uk

ZOË HARVEY, Tobacco control coordinator, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Public Health Network, Huntingdon

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