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Last Updated: Thursday, 25 March, 2004, 07:09 GMT
Smoke free plea to residents
A campaign to make Liverpool a smoke-free city was starting on Thursday and residents are being asked to pledge their support.

Books are being placed around the city - which could be the first in the UK to introduce a public ban - so that supporters can sign up.

Bars, restaurants and clubs are also being encouraged to introduce no smoking polices.

Around 1000 people die in Liverpool each year from smoke related illnesses.

The start of the campaign follows the announcement by city officials they are considering making the controversial move in time for the Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.

Smoke Free Liverpool - which includes representatives from the city council, health agencies and business leaders - has been set up to campaign for the changes.

A decision is expected to be made later in the year.

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