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Tougher Smoking Ban for British Columbia Smokers

Smokers might as well kick the butt. There will be no escape into outdoor areas in eateries or distant patios, as the newly to- be- released bill// of British Columbia hits the public.

The new anti smoking legislation introduced a few days back will ban smoking in all indoor public spaces as well as in public doorways, and 'near' the doors, windows and air intakes of any building accessible by the public.

Says Health Minister George Abbott: 'Some people will see it as intrusive, others will say we didn't go far enough. But I think we will have the great weight of public opinion supporting this.'

Tobacco sales will also be barred in public hospital and health facilities, universities and colleges, public athletic and recreational facilities and provincial buildings.

According to Abbott, the law will also ban the display of tobacco and related products in stores accessible to anyone under the age of 19.

This will put an end to 'power walls' of cigarettes and tobacco advertising, opines Abbott.

The B.C. government states that each year, tobacco use kills more than 6,000 people and costs the provincial economy $2.3 billion, while provincial taxes on tobacco account for only $700 million in annual revenue.

Says Finance Minister Carole Taylor,'There is no question that smoking is an enormous drain.

'The taxes we raise from cigarettes only pay a tiny part of the health care costs', she added.

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