Johnson praises smoke-free England

New health secretary Alan Johnson has heralded the smoking ban in England as the most important legislation for a generation.

Johnson praises smoke-free England
Johnson praises smoke-free England

At 6am on Sunday July 1, the Health Act 2006 came in to force making it illegal to smoke in virtually all enclosed places and workplaces.

Mr Johnson said he was ‘thrilled' that his first major announcement as health secretary was so significant. 'The scientific evidence is clear,' he said, ‘Secondhand smoke kills. There is no safe level of exposure. This legislation means that thousands of lives will be saved and the health of everyone will be protected.'

However, thousands of smokers defied the ban claiming that the legislation was a loss of civil liberties.

Further efforts to reduce the damage from smoking will come in to force on 1 October of this year when the legal minimum age for buying tobacco will be raised from 16 to 18 years old.

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