Ruth Mitchell

Have your say on smoke-free North East

The North East is this week being given a chance to make its views known on how forthcoming smoke-free legislation should be implemented. A consultation on the proposed regulations, expected to come into force in summer 2007, has been launched by the government. The current intention is to ban smoking in enclosed workplaces, defined as any room with more than 50% wall coverage, with prisons, mental health facilities and hospices remaining as exemptions. Workplaces allowing smoking, or failing to display signage, would be subject to fines for non-compliance as the proposals stand.Ailsa Rutter, director of the Fresh Campaign for a Smoke Free North East, said: “The impending smoke-free legislation is fantastic news for the region as, having the worst health inequalities in the UK, we stand to gain the most. However, it is vital that the small detail is exactly right, which is why we need people to voice their opinion on compliance, exemptions and the like.” Anyone wanting more information or to provide feedback can access the full consultation document at www.freshne.com and has until Monday 9 October to have their say.

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