Smoking ban to be launched July 1st

In collaboration with the Press Association

All enclosed public spaces in England will go smokefree on July 1st 2007, the government has announced.

The new law follows successful smoking bans in pubs, clubs, and workplaces in Scotland and Ireland. Government figures estimate that 600,000 people will give up smoking as a result of the ban.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt has also launched the Smokefree England campaign to inform businesses about the implications of the new law. "Today's announcement kicks off the final countdown to a healthier England and to thousands of lives saved," said head of Cancer Research UK professor Alex Markham.

"Making workplaces and enclosed public places smokefree will bring about some of the most significant health improvements the country has seen in decades.

"All employees - including those in pubs and clubs -deserve the right to work in a safe environment. July 1st will be a truly historic day.

"We also know that the vast majority of smokers want to quit. And the new law will give them the golden opportunity to give up for good."