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Smokers want exceptions made

25th June 2007

Smokers' rights groups are challenging the 1 July ban in England by calling for exceptions to the ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

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Public Health Minister Caroline Flint said in June that 95% of the population were aware of the impending smoking ban.

"A smoke-free England will see the single biggest improvement in public health for a generation," she stated. The ban follows rulings imposed in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Pro-smoking group Forest have said they will ask for legal exceptions to be made so some premises are able to offer designated smoking areas.

Chef Antony Worall Thompson will hold a "Revolt in Style" diner for 400 celebrity guests at the Savoy in London.

Forest director Mr Simon Clark will make a speech, saying: "We have lost the battle, but we haven't lost the war." He will say Britain is "developing into a nanny state".

He will argue that adults should be considered responsible enough to enjoy potentially risky activities, including smoking, without facing harassment and lecturing from politicians and campaigners. He will make the point that cigarettes are sold as a "perfectly legal product."

Claire Fox, director of the Institute of Ideas, will also make a speech, calling the ban a representation of "our small-minded times."

From Sunday 1 July, smoking will not be permitted in enclosed public places and workplaces in England.




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