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Last Updated: Friday, 4 March, 2005, 11:55 GMT
Town shopping centre bans smoking
Lit cigarette
Smokers refusing to stub out on request will be asked to leave
Smoking is to be banned from one of Cheltenham's largest shopping centres.

Signs have gone up at the Regent Arcade warning that anyone refusing to comply with the rule will be evicted. Cafes will allow smoking in designated areas.

Centre manager John Ford said: "A lot of our shoppers walking through have complained about other people smoking.

"Our team has been briefed to take a cautious approach initially. If people are persistent, we'll simply ask them to leave."

'Noticeable decrease'

Staff who smoke will also be bound to comply with the ban. One worker told BBC News: "I'm not happy about it, there's nowhere else to go, they've banned it from out the back and outside."

A spokesman for Tobacco World, a smokers' supply store in the arcade said: "Generally, we agree with the ban, though it doesn't really affect us.

"But there has been concern generally around the arcade if there are going to be facilities for smokers at the exits."

The ban comes into force next Wednesday to coincide with National No Smoking Day.

Mr Ford said there had already been a noticeable decrease in the number of people walking through smoking, since the signs went up.


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