UK health minister under pressure to ban smoking in public

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: (Published 12 August 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:368

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  1. Claire Laurent
  1. Banbury

    England's chief medical officer is fighting hard for a ban on smoking in public places.

    Anyone who may have had lingering doubts about the chief medical officer's views on smoking had these swept aside by his comments at the launch of his annual report recently (7 August, p 308).

    For the second year running Liam Donaldson pressed for the government to ban smoking in public places. Professor Donaldson urged the UK government to follow the lead of Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, and the US states of New York and California, where smoking in places of work and enclosed public places is banned (see news article “Infringements of Irish smoking ban are few”).

    While on holiday in San Francisco Professor Donaldson asked a bar worker about the infringement of liberty of a smoking ban. Her reply, he said, was powerful. “Your freedom ends where my nose starts,” she told him.

    Arguments that bars and restaurants would lose money if …

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