The Department of Health is encouraging anti-smoking initiatives in places such as pubs and supermarkets as part of its campaign to get people to give up the habit. The Government will be running consumer campaigns to promote the initiatives.
The Government has pledged a total of &£138m over three years to local NHS Stop Smoking Services to aid quitters and promote schemes like one in Hartlepool that involves trained anti-smoking advisers working in local pubs.
World No Tobacco Day was held in England for the first time this week (yesterday) as statistics were released that showed a 63 per cent increase in the number of people who successfully gave up smoking through NHS Stop Smoking Services in 2004.
However, the Government has come under pressure from the charity Cancer Research UK to impose a complete ban on smoking in public places by 2008 in place of its proposed plans, which include pubs not serving food.
Elsewhere, Sweden will this week follow in the footsteps of Ireland and become the seventh country in the world to implement comprehensive smoke-free legislation.
One of Scotland’s longest-running legal sagas also came to an end this week when Margaret McTear, who sued Imperial Tobacco for &£500,000 damages following the death of her husband Alfred McTear from lung cancer in 1993, lost her case at Edinburgh’s Court of Session.
Imperial tobacco says it is “pleased but not surprised” by the decision. Anti-smoking pressure group ASH called the decision a “setback”.