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Thursday, July 16, 1998 Published at 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK


Total smoking ban

No more smoking for Welwyn and Hatfield Council workers

A council has announced plans to enforce a strict no-smoking policy while its employees are at work.

From April 2000, Welwyn and Hatfield Council will enforce a complete smoking ban on all of its workers including park keepers and refuse collectors.

Any employee caught smoking on council property or while on duty - even in the street or in their own car - will face disciplinary action.

[ image: Workers will be helped to stop smoking]
Workers will be helped to stop smoking
The smoking support group, Forest, has condemned the move as unworkable and an infringement of human rights.

Chief Executive of the Labour-run council Michel Saminaden - a non-smoker - said that smoking was unacceptable to the council.

"What our staff do when they are off duty is up to them but while they are on duty it is inappropriate for them to smoke. It is not the image we want to portray."

Mr Saminaden said that the council was taking away people's basic rights only in the same way that making people wear crash helmets and seat belts took away their rights.

When the ban is enforced all smoking areas will be closed.

The council is to provide support for employees who want to stop smoking.

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