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Broad opposition as Scotland smoke ban starts

/ Source: The Associated Press

A smoking ban in enclosed public places took effect in Scotland on Sunday, although a poll showed that a fifth of all Scottish smokers planned to ignore the new law.

Scotland became the first place in Britain to ban smoking in public places. Businesses that fail to take steps to prevent smoking on their premises face $350 fines, while individual offenders could be fined nearly $90.

Some workplaces, including adult care homes, hospices, offshore installations and submarines, are exempt from the ban. Smoking will also be allowed in police detention or interview rooms and in designated hotel bedrooms.

However, a poll for the British Broadcasting Corp. released Sunday found that more than 20 percent of Scottish smokers planned to ignore the ban. The poll found that smokers in their teens and early 20s were most likely to break the law and that men were more likely to break the law than women.

The survey questioned 1,000 adults across the country earlier this month. A margin of error was not given.

Both Northern Ireland and England are introducing similar bans next year, while a date has not yet been set in Wales.

Britain joins Ireland, Finland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and several U.S. states and cities that have restricted smoking in public places in recent years.