Smoked out

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The Independent Online

John Reid, the Health Secretary, has concluded that banning smoking in public places would be unacceptable to the British, even though smoking is the single biggest cause of ill-health in the country. This has upset the medical fraternity, although it probably pleases the Chancellor. But while Britain debates the wisdom of following the Irish and New Yorkers, the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan - a place not renowned, admittedly, for its liberal social policies - has gone one step further and simply banned all sales of tobacco products. Keep an eye on the Bhutanese, Mr Reid - this debate is only just starting.

John Reid, the Health Secretary, has concluded that banning smoking in public places would be unacceptable to the British, even though smoking is the single biggest cause of ill-health in the country. This has upset the medical fraternity, although it probably pleases the Chancellor. But while Britain debates the wisdom of following the Irish and New Yorkers, the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan - a place not renowned, admittedly, for its liberal social policies - has gone one step further and simply banned all sales of tobacco products. Keep an eye on the Bhutanese, Mr Reid - this debate is only just starting.

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