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Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

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Smoking USA

May 18 2009
Recent anti-smoking laws have already started to affect Americans who mostly spend their time in public places, especially the homeless. As more than 700 cities in the United States, including Oakland, Washington and San Francisco, have banned smoking in outdoor public spaces such as plazas, parks, bus stops and beaches, anti-smoking laws have already started to affect those who mostly spend their time in public places, especially the homeless. Many reports found that more than half of the homeless population in the US smoke tobacco, and the new ban has seen a variety of responses. Nicotine patches have been offered at shelters throughout the United States since last winter. In other centres, programmes geared towards encouraging people to stop smoking have been started in a bid to save millions of dollars from treat ing smoking-related illnesses. Meanwhile, Seattle's largest homeless shelter faced a fine of $100 (£50) a day for allowing residents to smoke in a hyper-ventilated and purpose-built common room. The incident raised the problem of where people should go to smoke, as the indoor-smoking ban in November also prohibits outdoor smoking within 25 feet of entrances. From 1st July 2007, smoking will be outlawed in all indoor public places in England. A similar ban will came into force in Wales in April. Hostels and day centers will have to move their public areas to non-smoking. Still, cigarettes will be allowed outdoor and in hostels' bedrooms. The US ordinance is different and more difficult to cope with if you are a smoker; but as scientists argue that secondhand smoke could be as dangerous as direct smoke (it is linked to many diseases and has been declared a toxic air contaminant), this may be part of a trend which will sooner or later be followed worldwide.