Help when gearing up to smokefree summer

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The Cotswold Blog is a collection of diary entries, news, gossip and other Cotswold related information.

Help when gearing up to smokefree summer

Help is at hand for Cotswold businesses who are gearing up to go smokefree this summer.

People will no longer be allowed to smoke in offices, factories, shops, pubs, bars, restaurants and membership clubs across England when new laws come into force on July 1st.

The new law also affects public transport - including cabs, private hire taxis and work vehicles that are used by more than one person.

It spells major changes for local firms - and Cotswold District Council is staging a display of information and advice in the atrium at its Moreton Area Centre to help businesses and smokers find out more.

The legislation is a major step forward to a healthier England, with smoking-related illnesses likely to decrease. NHS figures show that secondhand smoke increases the risk in non-smokers of lung cancer by 28% and heart disease by 25%.

It will mean that people will be protected from the harm of second-hand smoke when working, socialising and relaxing and smokers will be provided with a more supportive environment if they wish to give up.

The new law will be regulated in the Cotswolds by District Council officers. Public Protection Manager Kate Bishop said: "While we are required to enforce the law, we want to work with businesses to help them comply, so our initial approach will focus on education."

The team has been giving talks to interested groups and has designed a useful leaflet for businesses. People are invited to drop in to the Moreton Area Centre during office hours and find out more from the advice and information on show.

Kate added: "We recognise that for many businesses going smokefree will mean significant changes. It isn't just about stopping people smoking on the premises. For example, employers may need to think about applying for planning permission to install a smoking shelter and ensure that people smoking outside do not cause a disturbance to others or create a litter problem."

Businesses should by now have received a pack from the Department of Health, which includes free signs. More information is available on the campaign website www.smokefreeengland.co.uk or contact the Smokefree England information line on 0800 169 1697.

Posted : 11/05/2007 13:43:15

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