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Nottinghamshire County Council has told staff they are introducing a blanket ban on having a cigarette during the working day.
The ban is intended to apply to anyone in uniform - even on the way to work. But is this latest attack on smokers a step too far? We sent Martin Fisher to Mansfield to find out.
Smokers' group Forest (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco) has criticised Nottingham County Council's decision to ban employees from taking smoking breaks, describing it as "a gross intrusion in people's personal freedom."
Director Simon Clark says employers have "no business" prohibiting employees smoking outside working hours when they are not even on the premises.
Under the proposals being considered, smoking will be allowed during lunch breaks but not in uniform or anywhere near council property.
Nottinghamshire County Council says its decision to ban staff from taking smoking breaks has been made so it can protect their health.
In a statement, Deputy Director of Public Health John Tomlinson says that the Council has signed the Nottinghamshire and Nottingham Tobacco Declaration which mean it must take action against tobacco to improve the health of staff.
Mr Tomlinson says the Council wants to encourage Nicotine Replacement Therapy at work and feels encouraging staff to give up smoking would make them better role models for their children.
Smoking breaks will be banned for thousands of council employees under new proposals.
Nottinghamshire County Council has said its 9,000 employees will be barred from smoking during work time with the ban extending to e-cigarettes, in the mooted plans.
Anyone who fails to stick to the rules could face internal disciplinary action.
The local authority said the ban, to include all council buildings, land and vehicles, was aimed at boosting its workers' health, increasing time spent working and reducing levels of sick leave.
But the largest public sector union Unison has said the stringent rules will be unenforceable and has urged the council to support smokers in quitting rather than haul wayward employees into disciplinary meetings.
The council's deputy director of public health John Tomlinson said smoking was still "public health's number one enemy" and the local authority had committed itself to action.
The council has said it will encourage staff to use alternatives like nicotine patches to kick their habit, arguing the cost to its staff would be cheaper than a packet of cigarettes.
The council has about 9,000 employees across all its departments, excluding teachers.
Employees get a short morning and afternoon break, but no smoking will be allowed during these periods under any ban.
Smoking will be allowed during lunch breaks but not in uniform or anywhere near council property, according to the union, Unison.
Unions will discuss the proposals with the council in the autumn, with the ban expected to come into force early next year.