West Lancashire Council opts for complete ban on smoking in or near council buildings

Smokers working for West Lancashire Council could soon be banned from taking smoking breaks.

The council is considering a complete ban on smoking in its buildings, with the removal of shelters and designated smoking rooms.

Smoking outside the building will also be stopped if the plans are approved tonight (Tuesday). If agreed, the ban will become official on 14 March 2007.

Staff who ignore the ban will face disciplinary action and could lose their jobs, the council said. Help will be offered to employees who want to give up.

All council-owned premises will come under the legislation, as well as council-owned vehicles, which the proposed policy said “must not be used as smoking shelters”.

Employees can still smoke in their lunch breaks, “however, it must take place away from council premises and buildings and outside the grounds”, the policy said.

A workplace smoking ban is due to come into force in England from next summer.

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