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Sunday, November 27, 2005 

Health official: Smoke ban by 2007

Health official: Smoke ban by 2007

London | November 28, 2005 12:01:13 AM IST
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt says it is "only a matter of time" before there is a complete ban on smoking in public places in England and Wales.

Speaking on the BBC's Sunday AM, she did not give a specific timescale, but said a total ban would be "simpler".

But she also defended the current proposed ban exempts pubs not serving food and some private clubs.

A total ban is due to start in Scotland next year and in Northern Ireland the year after.

"I've said several times before I think it is only a matter of time before we get to a total ban," she said.

Last month there was debate in Cabinet over possibly pushing ahead for a ban without exemptions, but after days of behind-the-scenes argument that proposal was rejected, the BBC said