Health chiefs want smoke-free Ipswich

IPSWICH could become among the first towns in East Anglia to declare smoking-free zones if plans being developed by a healthcare provider are given enough support.

IPSWICH could become among the first towns in East Anglia to declare smoking-free zones if plans being developed by a healthcare provider are given enough support.

Health officials at Ipswich Primary Care Trust (PCT) hope to persuade businesses in the town to join them in the battle to stub out smoking in public places like pubs, clubs and restaurants.

The proposal is being championed by the PCT which has been discussing the scheme as part of moves to curb the number of deaths and illnesses caused by smoking and passive smoking.

Terry Ward, PCT corporate director, said: "What we are trying to do is create a consensus among the owners of buildings and businesses that areas used by the public are increasingly made smoke-free areas."

A spokesman for Ash (Action on Smoking and Health) added: "We want to see a law clearly requiring employers to have smoke-free work places. At the moment, at least three million workers are still regularly exposed to second hand smoke every day."

But Michael Collins, chairman of Ipswich Pubwatch, said: "I'm very much against no-smoking pubs – I have people who use my pub whose life is their cigarettes and their pint of beer."