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Pubs kick smoking plan into touch

Thursday October 8th, 2009

Photo of man smokingThe British government gained backing from footballers but not pub landlords today for its drive to get the nation to quit smoking.

A new 'fantasy football' team, Smokefree United, has been formed to encourage lovers of the sport to give up.

The team is being led by star Ian Wright, who will be sending out motivational emails to fans.

NHS Stop Smoking Services said that as many as 41 per cent of male smokers in England regard themselves as footballers - and most would like to quit to make themselves fitter.

Footballer John Barnes said: "Quitting smoking will have a huge impact on your game and you'll immediately become more competitive because your cardiovascular fitness will improve, increasing the amount of time you'll be able to spend on the pitch."

But there was disappointing news for campaigners from a survey of pub landlords, carried out by the British Heart Foundation.

Some two thirds of landlords claimed it would be impossible to implement proposed new laws requiring them to prevent under-age buyers from using cigarette vending machines.

It is proposed that bar staff should use remote controls to let customers use vending machines after checking their ID.

Calling for a full ban, the BHF said its survey showed that pubs would not be financially hit by getting rid of vending machines - as most earn no more than ?500 a year.

BHF chief executive Peter Hollins said: "The Government?s proposals are unworkable and unrealistic. The message from the pub industry is loud and clear, they can't make these proposals work and the loose change they make from these machines isn't worth the hassle of keeping them."

Tags: Drug and Alcohol Abuse | General Health | Menís Health | Respiratory | UK News

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