British government bans smoking in public places

British officials believe it is necessary to &to=' target=_blank>ban smoking in all public places that serve food.

The proposed ban would be phased in gradually if it is approved by Parliament, Health Secretary John Reid announced.

It would first apply on government premises and eventually in offices, restaurants and any pub or bar where substantial food is available, he said, reports USA Today.

The change, which will be brought in in stages from 2006, was a "sensible solution which balances protection for the majority with personal freedom for the minority", he said.

MPs cheered the announcement, as Mr Reid said he wanted to shift the balance "significantly in favour of smoke-free environments".

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