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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 October, 2004, 07:24 GMT 08:24 UK
Liverpool smoke ban bid welcomed
Liverpool is the first city in the UK to ban smoking
A special petition must be presented to the Commons
The decision to make Liverpool the UK's first smoke-free city has been welcomed by health campaigners.

The city council voted to ban smoking in restaurants, pubs, shops, offices and enclosed workplaces on Wednesday.

They will have to petition Parliament by 27 November so that a smoke-free law for Liverpool can be considered in the next legislative session.

The British Heart Foundation said Liverpool was "leading the country and showing the government the way."

Spokeswoman Dr Charmaine Griffiths said it was "fantastic news".

Other cities in the UK should now follow this lead
Ben Youdan, No Smoking Day
"We applaud the efforts of local campaigners in Liverpool to achieve this landmark decision, which received cross-party support and the support of the people.

"We now hope the Government not only supports this ban but extends it to a national level as soon as possible to protect non-smokers from the proven and unnecessary health risks of passive smoking," she said.

The charity No Smoking Day added that the ban should give smokers an incentive to quit.

Chief executive Ben Youdan said: "Other cities in the UK should now follow this lead which will have a dramatic impact on the health and wellbeing of the population."

'Protecting health'

The British Lung Foundation said it was "delighted" by the decision.

"By taking this step, Liverpool will be protecting the health of its workers, particularly in bars and restaurants. We hope that Liverpool will lead by example and see the ban roll out across the UK," chief executive Dame Helena Shovelton said.

Liverpool City Council says it will impose a fine of 1,000 on anyone breaching the law, which it wants passed within a year.

Councillor Richard Oglethorpe, the city council's executive member of green issues, said Liverpool is the "lung cancer capital of the United Kingdom."

"It's not a title we're proud of, it's one we want to get rid of," he said.

"Most smokers want to give up and the place where they find it hardest to give up is when you go into a bar.

"You've had a few drinks, everyone else is smoking so people tend to go back to their old ways.

"Introducing the smoking ban will help people give up."




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
How Liverpool plans to stop smoking in public



SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Passive smoking
18 Oct 04  |  Medical notes
Liverpool votes for smoking ban
20 Oct 04  |  Merseyside
Australian smokers face bar ban
13 Oct 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Smokers given portable ashtrays
08 Oct 04  |  Merseyside
Council's smoke-free city promise
04 Oct 04  |  Merseyside
Majority back public smoking ban
24 Mar 04  |  Health


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