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Cigarette in ashtray

Calls for a smoke-free UK by 2008

By Kristen Mattocks, Communication Officer, North Mersey LIS, March 2006

By 2008, the UK could be a largely smoke-free zone. The government has said it will introduce a smoking ban in almost all public places in England by then. A ban is due to take force in Scotland in 2006 and in Northern Ireland in 2007, as well as groups in Wales calling for similar laws. 

Anti-smoking and medical organisations have long been campaigning for a full ban on smoking in the workplace – including pubs and restaurants. However, smokers’ groups and the hospitality industry argue that this will restrict freedom of choice and could put pubs out of business.

In Liverpool, the process of going smoke-free has been driven by SmokeFree Liverpool, a partnership of voluntary and statutory organisations working towards making the city's workplaces totally smoke-free as soon as possible - and certainly by summer 2007.

More information on where things are up to in the UK and the key issues being raised can be found on the BBC website.