Scotland smoking ban to be confirmed by Christmas

Scotland
could soon follow in Ireland’s
footsteps by banning smoking at work and other public places by the end of 2006.

Jack
McConnell, Scottish First Minister, said on a trip to Dublin
that he was impressed by the popularity and observance of the ban in Ireland.
Under Irish law, health and safety inspectors can impose fines of up to €3,000
(£2,000) if workplaces do not conform.

“I
am certainly more convinced now that at the very least something approaching an
all-out ban is enforceable, practical and desirable in Scotland,”
McConnell said.

He
confirmed an announcement would be made before Christmas on the extent that
smoking will be limited in public places in Scotland.

The
Scottish Executive is currently carrying out a public consultation on the
question of a ban, and has received more than 20,000 responses.

Michael Millar 

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