A ban on smoking in public buildings in England, including pubs, restaurants and even Buckingham Palace, began Sunday, the Associated Press reported.
Taxi and delivery drivers also face a £50 fine if they light up inside their cars, the wire service said.
Newly appointed Health Secretary Alan Johnson said, "A smoke-free country will improve the health of thousands of people, reduce the temptation to smoke and encourage smokers to quit."
England joins France, Spain, Italy, Iran, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, South Africa, Uruguay and New Zealand in passing legislation to restrict smoking. The United States has no federal policy, but some states, including New York and Florida, have imposed some of the globe's most stringent laws against smoking, the AP said.
Public smoking was already banned in the rest of the United Kingdom. Wales and Northern Ireland instituted the ban in April and Scotland did so last year. The Republic of Ireland made the move three years ago.
Despite the bans, the World Health Organization predicts there will be an additional 2 billion smokers worldwide by 2030, the wire service said. – (HealthDay)
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