PEOPLE could be breathing fresher air in the future after plans to introduce a no smoking' policy in all South Lakeland District Council-run public buildings was given full support, reports Andrew Daniels.

Rather than just creating a smoke-free atmosphere, SLDC is going one step further and offering help to employees who want to kick the habit in a move that it is hoped more businesses will follow.

After being put before the council's general purposes committee the plan gained support from all concerned, even those who smoke.

If approved, smoking would be banned in a number of places including tourist information centres, public halls, council depots and market halls. Members would be banned from smoking in doorways and even in council-owned or rented vehicles, while officers would be discouraged from smoking while on duty. Visitors would also be asked to comply.

Employees would be granted a maximum of two hours' paid leave to attend an initial smoking cessation session and could have the prescription cost for Zyban, a nicotine replacement, refunded.

The policy would have to go before cabinet and full council before being adopted.

Earlier this year readers of The Westmorland Gazette voted in favour of a ban on smoking with 84.2 per cent of those responding to a voteline agreeing cafes, pubs, restaurants and hotels in South Lakeland should be smoke free.

Anyone wanting to quit smoking can call the Morecambe Bay PCT smoking cessation service on 01524-845145.

For the full story get The Westmorland Gazette.

Visit our Lifestyle Health and Wellbeing section online for more health related information.