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  Government asked to ban smoking
Updated 05 December 2003, 07.32

A top medical magazine has asked the government to ban smoking in the UK.

The Lancet said most smokers want to give up the habit, and completely banning smoking, and making tobacco illegal, would help them quit.

But some groups think it's wrong to ban tobacco, and people should have the right to chose if they smoke or not.

The Lancet also said a ban would help the 1000 people a year who die from passive smoking - accidentally breathing in another person's smoke.

Smoking has been banned in public places in parts of the US, Canada and Australia.

Research by the Royal College of Physicians said that smoking should be banned from everywhere people work in the UK.

It thought that would mean 300,000 people would give up, saving at least 150,000 lives.

The Lancet said: "We should be doing a great deal more to prevent this disease and to help its victims."

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