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UK Cabinet approves English smoking ban

[JURIST] The British Cabinet included a plan to ban smoking [JURIST report] in enclosed public places as part of its Health Improvement Bill Wednesday, exempting from the prohibition pubs and bars that don't serve food. The Department of Health [official website] initiated research [JURIST report] in June for the ban, resulting in plans [BBC report] by Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to ban smoking in all public places except sealed smoking rooms in pubs. The final proposal accepted by the Cabinet, described by the British Medical Association as an "utter disappointment" [BBC report] and a "wasted opportunity," is less restrictive than the full bans adopted in the rest of the UK [BBC report] and those proposed by Hewitt [JURIST report], but does include a commitment to review the plan in 3 years. Hewitt stated that any additional proposals would be welcomed Thursday, when the bill will be introduced to the House of Commons. Last year, the Scottish Executive approved a ban [JURIST report] on smoking in enclosed public places. BBC News has more.

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