The policy was voted in with 34 votes in favour and 27 against (a majority of seven) and will take effect from October 2014.

The decision means that from October, all sites used by the council will become smoke free. A working group at the County Council will now begin implementing the policy working closely with staff.

The policy is designed to protect the health of all employees and visitors who use the council’s services and facilities. In Cambridgeshire, about 800 deaths each year are attributed to smoking, the majority from lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart disease.

Second hand smoke has been shown to cause adverse health effects in people of all ages and increases the risk of cancer, heart disease and many other illnesses in non-smokers, as well as worsening existing conditions such as asthma.

As part of the policy, the council’s Public Health team will ensure staff are supported through the change.  Employees who want to stop smoking will be given full support by the council, including being able to access Camquit, Cambridgeshire’s Stop Smoking Service.

Dr. Liz Robin, Director for Public Health at Cambridgeshire County Council, said:

Our Smoke Free policy sends the clear message that smoking, both active and passive, is harmful to health and is costly to society. We will work with staff to find the best way forward before the policy comes into effect in October this year.

In line with national legislation, the council already operates a no smoking policy in its offices and all operational areas, such as libraries, children’s centres and registration offices.

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