Britain to ban smoking in public parks

August 9th, 2011 - 10:10 am ICT by IANS  

London, Aug 9 (IANS) Britain will ban smoking in public parks and offenders will be fined as per new rules of the state councils.

In a first step to match America’s “zero tolerance” policy, councils and National Health Service (NHS) trusts aim to use the government’s new Localism Bill to curb lighting up in areas including play areas, Daily Express reported.

The purpose is to make smoking history for children by stamping out the habit in outside areas.

These councils already have plans to ban smoking in cars carrying children and displays of tobacco packets will be outlawed in large shops from next year and in newsagents from 2015.

Campaign groups, however have criticised the councils’ move, with a spokesman for Forest, a smokers’ lobby group, saying: “It is a completely unnecessary intrusion into people’s lives.”

Health experts, however, say that with one in three people still smoking in some areas of Britain, a strong stance is justified.

Katherine Huntly, spokesperson for the British Lung Foundation, said: “If the government in England does not take action and protect our children from passive smoke in the car, we will be sending them to an early grave. It is telling that local councils are now taking matters into their own hands by exploring legislation to ban smoking in public parks and cars.

“Every year over 300,000 children in the UK go to their GP with diseases relating to passive smoke. This is preventable and completely unacceptable.”

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