The government’s plans for a complate ban on smoking in public places will come into force on July 1st 2007. Since the beginning of term smoking has been banned in all hall bars on campus but not in the Ark, which will have to become a non-smoking venue in line with the new laws.
The ban is set to include all pubs, clubs and offices, but not outside or private homes. This follows a ban both in Scotland and Ireland, with a ban in Wales to begin on April 2nd.
It is estimated that the cost of implementing such a scheme will be in the region of £50 million, Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said today that the ban was “a huge step forward that would save thousands of lives”. She went on to predict that 600,000 people would give up smoking as a result of the ban.
However pro-smoke activists, namely the smokers’ lobby Forest, labelled the ban “draconian” and stated it was “typical of a government that seems determined to interfere in every aspect of our daily lives.”