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England quit

February 15 2006

British Parliament on Tuesday overwhelmingly to ban smoking in all pubs and private clubs in England.

The ban has already been adopted and will soon enter into force in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Lawmakers in Wales have twice voted for a similar ban.

"This decision will affect the lives of future generations and make the country more healthy," - says Elspeth Lee from the organization Cancer Research UK.

Director of the human rights organization Forest Simon Clark said that it was "unnecessary and illiberal legislation, depriving millions of people freedom of choice."

Fines for smoking in the wrong places will grow more than tenfold from 200 to 2500 pounds (from 350 to 4350 dollars).

The Cabinet originally proposed to ban smoking only in pubs where food is served. Later, however, have been put forward three options - a complete ban, the ban only in pubs and a ban only in clubs and pubs that serve food.

Many MPs opposed a ban on smoking in general, as violating civil liberties.

According to estimates of the Government, as a result of the ban about 600 thousand people quit smoking, reports BBC.

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