50 days to go until England is smoke free!

The Smoke free Birmingham team launches their 50-day countdown campaign to remind people of the date that England goes smoke free. As of Saturday May 12 there will be 50 days before smoking in work places, public places and vehicles used for work is outlawed.

There will be no escaping that fact for everyone passing the Paradise Circus roundabout in Birmingham's City centre, as they will see standing in the middle of it will be a giant clock counting down the days to July 1 when the Health Act 2006, which will see the new smoke free legislation in many public places, becomes law.

The 50 day countdown clock forms part of a wider communications campaign to make sure that businesses and individuals understand what action they need to take.

Smoke-Free Birmingham Campaign programme manager Janet Reece said: "This celebrates the fact that the clock is ticking on smoking in public and reaching another milestone insomuch that are just 50 days left before the new law takes effect".

Recent research carried out amongst businesses, showed that 41 per cent of businesses in England do not realise that smoking rooms will need to be closed and more than half (53 per cent) are unaware that work vehicles will also be covered by the legislation.

A recent survey revealed that 37 per cent of people in the West Midlands cite a smoke-filled atmosphere as the main turn-off for going to a bar or pub.  Over two-thirds (69 per cent) of people in the West Midlands would rather spend the evening in a smokefree venue, than one where smoking is allowed, and 91 per cent now consider lighting-up in a non-smoking place unacceptable.

Birmingham's three Directors of Public Health, who were ferried to Paradise Circus in one of the city's new smoke-free taxis, unveiled the countdown clock on Friday 11th May.

For further information please contact: Mandy Pritchard at LTA Communications on 01384 444044

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