More than 30 cities and towns in England are considering local bans on workplace smoking in public places following the government’s refusal to implement national rules.
Some are expected to follow the example of Liverpool and the Greater London Authority, which have started parliamentary steps to enable them to implement a ban in 2006.
At least nine local authorities are said by the SmokeFree Liverpool campaign to be examining this route or other measures, including changing bylaws, licensing laws or health and safety legislation.
They are Bradford, Canterbury, Milton Keynes, Poole, Brighton, Knowsley, Wirral, St Helens and Sheffield.
In addition, 26 councils and 16 NHS primary healthcare trusts in north-east England will establish a California-style Office of Tobacco Control within a few weeks, which may lead to many parts of the region opting for bans.
A smoking ban was introduced in New York in March 2003.
The Republic of Ireland banned smoking in public places in March 2004 and a ban is proposed for Scotland.