The British Medical Association (BMA) is urging smokers to use today, No Smoking Day (14 March), to prepare for 1 July 2007, the day when England goes smokefree. From 1 July this year, virtually all enclosed public places in England (including bars and restaurants) will not allow any smoking.
The BMA's Head of Science and Ethics, Dr Vivienne Nathanson, said today: "The 1st July gives smokers in England a real incentive to pack in their cigarettes. Given they will not be able to smoke in virtually all public indoor premises, it makes sense to take this a step further and stop all together. Around half of all smokers will die because of their habit. For this reason, as doctors, we are urging smokers to seek help to quit."
Dr Nathanson added: "Bars and restaurants in England should also be gearing up for 1 July – and they don't have to wait until then to take action. Most of their customers will only be too pleased to be able to eat a meal or have a drink in a smokefree environment sooner rather than later."
The implementation of the smokefree legislation will vary for each nation within the UK:
Wales – 2 April 2007 Northern Ireland – 30 April 2007 England – 1 July 2007 Scotland went smoke free on 26 March 2006