30 April 2007. Smokers
can no longer light up in bars across Northern Ireland as the new smoking
ban has come into force. It is now illegal to smoke in workplaces, most
enclosed public spaces and on public transport. The ban will be enforced by
Smoking is said to cause 3,000 deaths in N Ireland each year,
with one death every fortnight due to second-hand smoke.
The Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales already have smoking
bans in place; England's starts on 1 July.
Smoke-free legislation is intended to protect public health by
reducing exposure to second-hand smoke.
Health Minister Paul Goggins said the law would save lives, adding:
"People do not want to breathe in others' smoke. "Second-hand smoke is a
toxic cocktail of around 4,000 chemicals - many of which cause cancer.
Businesses will have to ensure no-one smokes in their premises and
must display no-smoking signs. Councils have issued guidelines.