Smoke free home

REDBRIDGE COUNCIL in London has become the first in the British capital to rule that children from homes will no longer be fostered by smokers, except in exceptional circumstances.

According to the council, this decision, which will come into effect in 2010, was made to protect children from the “damaging effects of passive and second-hand smoke”.

Councillor Michael Stark said: “We know this is a difficult issue because some people will feel it is an intrusion on personal freedoms.”

Tobacco lobby groups said the move was part of an “ongoing campaign to stigmatise smokers,” adding: “It sends out an insidious message that smokers in general are unfit parents and I don’t think any politician has the right to do that.”