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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 August 2007, 10:48 GMT 11:48 UK
Landlord summonsed over smoke ban
Landlord Nick Hogan
Mr Hogan believes the ban is unfair
A landlord from Greater Manchester has become the latest to be taken to court accused of defying the smoking ban.

Nick Hogan, landlord of the Swan Hotel in Bolton, faces nine charges - five for failing to prevent smoking on his premises and four of obstruction.

He has been summonsed to appear before Bolton magistrates on 14 September.

Mr Hogan is believed to be the second landlord to be taken to court since the ban on smoking in public places in England was introduced on 1 July.

Owners and managers of pubs and clubs which fail to comply with the smoking law can face fines of up to 2,500 - and individual smokers can be fined 50.

A spokeswoman for Bolton Council said one person in the Swan had been issued with a fixed penalty notice since 1 July.

Pub smokers
There are bigger issues in our society than people having a cigarette in a bar
Nick Hogan

Mr Hogan, who is backed by the Smokers' Rights Appeal Fund, could face a fine of up to 16,500 if found guilty - 2,500 for each smoking offence and 1,000 for each obstruction charge.

But the landlord, who is also a smoker, said he was prepared to take his fight to the European Court of Human Rights.

Mr Hogan said: "I believe that this law that this administration has brought in is completely and utterly wrong.

"I'm absolutely delighted to go to court so I can actually challenge this ridiculous law in court.

"They are picking on people indulging in a perfectly legal product. There are bigger issues in our society than people having a cigarette in a bar."

On 1 August, Blackpool landlord Hamish Howitt became the first to be prosecuted for failing to enforce the smoking ban. He has denied the charges.

Landlord denies smoke ban charge
01 Aug 07 |  Lancashire
Smoke ban rebel pub under threat
02 Jul 07 |  Manchester

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