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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 June 2007, 17:27 GMT 18:27 UK
Nesting birds help stop smoking
Blue tit on cigarette butt box
A nesting tit stakes his claim
Two pairs of blue tits are showing their support for the smoking ban - by taking up home in a cigarette butt bin.

The birds are nesting in the ashtrays attached to the walls of West Bromwich crematorium in the West Midlands.

Brendan Day, head of Sandwell Council's bereavement services, said: "We could not believe our eyes when we saw blue tits flying in and out of the bins.

"We quickly put up signs to warn mourners birds were nesting inside and not to use the bins."

He went on: "We have been keeping a close watch on the birds to check on their safety, and we expect the fledglings to fly the nest any day now.

"A cigarette bin isn't a place one would normally associate with new life - and as bereavement services officers, we all too often see the damaging effects smoking can have on people's lives."

From July 1, virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces throughout England will become smokefree, in a move to protect employees and the public from the effects of secondhand smoke.

It will be a criminal offence to smoke in enclosed public places and individuals could be fined a 50 fixed penalty for lighting up in a non-smoking building or vehicle.




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