England Quits Smoking

If you’re a smoker and you’ve already planned your trip to England this summer, you might want to think twice about bringing your cigarettes, pipes, or cigars along. Starting July 1, 2007 it will be illegal to smoke in enclosed public places throughout England. The U.K. ban follows Italy, Norway, Ireland, Sweden and other countries that have instituted bans on smoking in public places.

While millions of Britons are applauding the move, bar and pub owners here are fearing the worst — the loss of a loyal smoking clientele. Many pub owners are opening up unenclosed areas for smokers outside their establishments. Others are reaching out to different types of customers, including families.

Smokers who think they can flout the law and light up in a banned area should be prepared to pay a £50 fine. Heftier fines — up to £2,500 — will be levied against pub or restaurant owners who permit smoking in banned areas.