Businesses obey smoke ban3rd August 2007
Officials have said most businesses visited in the first two weeks of the smoking ban in England complied with the new regulations.
The ban came into force on 1 July and is intended to protect workers from the effects of passive smoking.
Council officers inspected 88,899 premises in July. They reported that 97% were following the no-smoking ban. 142 warnings were given out and a penalty fine was given to a person who insisted on smoking.
The figures tally with Scotland's and Ireland's response to the ban, which was introduced before the regulation was imposed in England.
Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said: "We predicted that it would be largely self-enforcing based on experience elsewhere, and the fact that three quarters of the public supported the move. All the signs are that businesses and the public have taken the new law in their stride."
An area which showed room for improvement was businesses' display of no-smoking signs. The inspection revealed that 21% of businesses had not yet put out signs.
The government has introduced a phone system so that people can report businesses for not complying with the law. 2,342 calls were made to the line over the first month and 606 were given to councils to investigate further. Less than 400 calls were made in the final week of July.
Amanda Sandford, for Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said that the public had embraced the smoking ban "wholeheatedly and that it had been "largely self-enforcing" because it was what most people wanted.
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Title: Businesses obey smoke ban
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3624
Date Added: 3rd Aug 2007