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Scotland to Ban Bar and Pub Smoking

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GLASGOW, Scotland, Jul 04, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Scotland said Sunday smoking will be banned in all of its 7,500 pubs and bars under a government plan, The Scotsman reported Sunday.

Ministers had previously restricted any plans for a smoking ban to restaurants because they feared a massive backlash from drinkers and the tobacco lobby. However, similar moves in New York and Ireland were met with less resistance than expected and produced evidence some smokers were quitting.

Deputy health minister Tom McCabe wants to introduce a draft bill by the end of the year that will include the country's 5,100 pubs and 2,400 hotel bars in a smoking ban, The Scotsman said.

First Minister Jack McConnell, who has been skeptical about a ban, has now made it known he is "open to persuasion".

Medical professionals and anti-smoking campaigners were last night delighted at the change in thinking at the Scottish Executive, but the tobacco lobby claims the moves are Draconian and are marshalling their forces to oppose them.

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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