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Wednesday, July 29, 1998 Published at 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK


Smoking ban for teachers?

Are teachers who smoke providing a bad example to pupils?

A teaching association is supporting plans to ban teachers from smoking cigarettes.

A motion calling for new teachers to be required to be non-smokers was backed by delegates at the Professional Association of Teachers' annual conference.

A teacher from East Yorkshire, Wesley Paxton, said teachers should provide a good example for pupils.

He told the Cheltenham conference that teachers who smoked were not in a position to discourage children from taking up the habit.

[ image:
"Got a light, sir?"
He said: "If something is dangerous, which smoking is, what sort of example do we set pupils by doing it ourselves?

"Most surveys show that most smokers want to give it up. That being the case, could one reasonably expect most teachers who smoke to want to quit?

"This would have the advantage of showing pupils by example that it can be done."

A spokeswoman for the pro-smoking organisation Forest - the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco - described the proposal as "outrageous".

She said: "Are they also suggesting that teachers should not be allowed to drink alcohol, to provide a better example to pupils? Where would they draw the line?

"This proposal, if enacted, would be a gross infringement of personal liberty."

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