Inspectors call at hundreds of premises

MORE than 800 business premises across Suffolk Coastal have been inspected in the first month of the new no-smoking laws.

MORE than 800 business premises across Suffolk Coastal have been inspected in the first month of the new no-smoking laws.

But council officers say they have caught no-one flouting the new laws.

“We have had three complaints reports that we have investigated in that same period but again these need no threat of action,” said a spokesman for Suffolk Coastal council.

“The only slight hiccup has been that a few premises have not had the relevant sticker on show - this has not been a conscious attempt to flout the law but more a failure to realise that legally they had to be displayed.

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“'But no-one has ever smoked here so why do we need to put a sticker up?' has been the typical response.

“Overall, the situation in our district has mirrored virtually everywhere else - it has been accepted and complied and appreciated by the vast majority of people.”

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The government says 97 per cent of premises inspected in East Anglia in the two weeks after July 1 were smoke-free as required by the new law.

So far, data has been collected from 88,899 inspections nationally, including 1,090 hotels, 6,783 restaurants and 9,568 licensed premises - 7,677 of them in the East of England.

Some 96 pc of places complied with the law and 87pc had correct signage.

During the first two weeks of inspections, it has only been necessary to issue one fixed penalty notice nationally to an individual wilfully flouting the law by smoking in a smokefree place.

Minister of State for public health, Dawn Primarolo said: “When we introduced the smokefree law last month, we predicted that it would be largely self-enforcing based on experience elsewhere and the fact that three-quarters of the public supported the move.

“These high levels of real protection from secondhand smoke in public places and workplaces are a testament to everyone involved. Efforts from enforcement officers in local authorities and businesses, especially those in the hospitality sector and also the public have all contributed to making this country a healthier place in which to work and socialise.”

Do you think the new law is a big step forward? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail

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