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Government bans workplace smoking

Smoking will be banned in all workplaces from next year following a vote in the Commons last night. There is still, however, no clarity on whether the ban will include cars.

MPs voted for a far-reaching ban after last-minute appeals from health campaigners. Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said the new Health Bill would ban smoking in ‘virtually every enclosed public space and workplace in England'.

"We estimate an additional 600,000 people will give up smoking as a result of this law and millions more will be protected from second-hand smoking," she said.

The ban will start in summer 2007.

Smoking will still be allowed in the home and in places considered to be homes such as prisons, care homes and hotels. No decision has yet been made on whether smoking will be banned in cars carrying passengers.

Failure to enforce the ban will carry a fine of £2,500. Individuals lighting up in banned areas will face fixed penalties of £50.

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