Health Minister Patricia Hewitt announced the date of Britain’s long awaited smoke ban in public places, describing it as a “triumph for public health”. The ban which affects all public places including pubs, restaurants, clubs and offices will come into effect on 1st July next year. Ms Hewitt believes the ban will save thousands of people’s lives, by encouraging them to give up the evil weed and protect the health of thousands of others from passive smoking. Scientific evidence shows that a range of serious medical conditions and deaths are caused by inhaling second hand smoke. These include lung cancer and heart disease.