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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 January, 2004, 19:06 GMT
Full smoking ban 'not in pipeline'
Smoking
Campaigners have raised fears over passive smoking
Smoking will not be banned outright in public places in Scotland, the Scottish Executive has revealed.

First Minister Jack McConnell said there would be an "open-ended consultation" on the issue.

But the consultation will not include specific proposals for a complete ban on lighting up in pubs and restaurants.

Smoking bans have been approved in Ireland and parts of the United States and the executive said it would consider that international experience.

The first minister said that he favoured designating local smoke-free zones.

My personal view is that there should be some areas in public where people can go where they know there will not be smokers
Jack McConnell
First minister
He said the choices for Scotland ranged from national guidelines or rules to no rules at all, or a compromise which could give local licensing authorities a remit to designate certain areas or premises.

"My personal view is that there should be some areas in public where people can go where they know there will not be smokers," he said.

"We have that on aeroplanes, but there should be other opportunities to do that.

"How far any ban or any regulations would go has to be determined largely by practicality."

Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace said he was still wrestling with what he viewed as a "classic Liberal dilemma", that of balancing the rights of smokers with the rights of others not to breathe smoke.


WATCH AND LISTEN
Brian Taylor reports
"Ministers will be looking at limited bans in certain areas"



SEE ALSO:
Scotland seeks public smoking ban
28 Dec 03  |  Scotland
Q&A: Passive smoking
25 Nov 03  |  Medical notes
Call to ban smoking in public
25 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Charity backs anti-smoking bill
08 Nov 03  |  Scotland
Debate on smoking ban
28 Oct 03  |  London


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