Sark to make smoking ban law for public places

Smoking in Sark's pubs and restaurants will be made illegal in future, the island's government has decided.

Chief Pleas voted 19-5 in favour of plans to stop people lighting up in enclosed public places.

Many island establishments already operate a voluntary ban on smoking, but the ban will now be enshrined in law.

Chief Pleas also decided to introduce laws to licence the retail sale of tobacco and ban its sale to those under 16 years old.

Currently the island has no legislation that governs the sale of tobacco and tobacco products.

During the debate concerns were raised it would take away people's freedom of choice and that the majority of the population did not want it.

Arguments were also made that the ban may cost pubs business and lose Sark money through the revenue tobacco sales bring in.

In its report ahead of the meeting, the Medical Committee said research had shown marked reductions in cases of smoking-related diseases since bans were put in place in the UK.

It said it believed there was "no alternative but to bring in legislation".

The Bailiwick's law officers will be asked to draft the relevant legislation before it is brought back to Chief Pleas for approval before being sent for royal assent.

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