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Tenants to be banned from smoking at home!!


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Tenants to be banned from smoking at home


Last updated at 10:36am on 25th October 2006

smokingG210606_228x348.jpgSmokers in tenant houses will be banned from lighting up if visited by council workers




Residents are to be banned from smoking in their own homes by a London council.

Tenants in Sutton council housing will not be able to light up while they are being visited by health workers and members of staff such as those delivering meals on wheels.

If they insist on smoking, the staff will refuse to enter and tenants could lose access to council services.

The scheme is part of a clampdown that will also see staff banned from smoking. In the run-up to the national ban on lighting up in public places, which begins next summer, the Government has encouraged all local authorities to introduce a smoke-free environment.

Croydon council has already announced it will ban workers from taking cigarette breaks and give them nicotine patches.

Sutton's policy, which will come into effect in February, will ban smoking from anywhere in or near council buildings and council vehicles, car parks and parks. The policy also puts a stop to cigarette breaks and forbids employees smoking anywhere in publicwhile wearing the council symbol or identity badge.

Sutton had originally included a further clause banning employees from smoking in their own cars while driving to and from work but this was amended after opposition.

The council's proposal states: "The smoke-free policy aims to protect nonsmokers from second-hand smoke and is not designed to punish smokers as such. However, breaches of the policy will be subject to Sutton's disciplinary procedures."

If the policy is approved, employees will be able to refuse to enter a home while the tenant is smoking and will have to inform their manager as soon as possible. An exception is made for those living in residential homes and for anyone in a "dangerously heightened state".

Conservative councillor John Kennedy attacked the plans, saying: "This is beyond a nanny state. This is sheer megalomania. It's just the first step before the council bans smoking across the borough.

"The policy is still flawed on three counts. Firstly, it goes beyond the law and is, in parts, unenforceable, secondly, it discriminates between blueand white-collar workers and, thirdly, it is stated to be a policy to protect nonsmokers when in fact it is draconian and makes no distinction between smokers and non-smokers at all."

But Colin Hall, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat council, defended the policy. He said: "We're not trying to be heavy-handed. We are adhering to government guidelines and trying to protect non-smokers. At the same time we encourage smokers to stop by offering them places on courses while at work."

A decision on the policy has been deferred for further consultation.

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