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Last Updated: Monday, 18 June 2007, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Hockney hits out at smoking ban
David Hockney
The artist said the needs of all people should be catered for
Artist David Hockney has hit out at the smoking ban, calling it an "infringement of democracy".

The 69-year-old, who is originally from Bradford, said the needs of both smokers and non-smokers should be catered for in a democratic country.

The ban on smoking in enclosed public places will come into force in England on 1 July.

But the ban will allow people to live in a healthier environment free from second-hand smoke, the government says.

'Saving lives'

But Mr Hockney, who is a smoker, has previously described the ban as a "serious subject about tolerance and liberty".

He said: "Obviously some people don't like smoking but there are other people who do.

"Shouldn't they both be catered for in a democratic country?

"There are lots of places . . . where you can't smoke and there are some where you can.

Harm of smoke

"What the smoker does is go to those places, and the non-smoker goes to the other.

"But the non-smoker is now demanding that every place must be suitable for them."

But public health Minister Caroline Flint said the ban was the most important health protection measure in a generation.

She said: "The new law will protect everyone from the harm of secondhand smoke at work and in public places, and will save lives."

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