Johannesburg: An anti-smoking lobby group in South Africa has called on the organisers of the Cricket World Cup next year to declare all stadiums in the country smoke-free, the 'Saturday Star' newspaper reported.
A powerful lobby group, the National Council Against Smoking (NCAS) said, like at soccer World Cup 2002 in Korea and Japan, smoking should be banned from all stadiums in the country. NCAS director Peter Ucko said he believed laws introduced in South Africa in 1999, which prohibits smoking in indoor public areas has worked, as it cut down the prevalence of smoking under the country's population from 28 to 22 per cent.
"The law is working," Ucko said, adding there was no doubt that smoking killed, and should be applied to outdoor public places as well. "Even in a stadium, if 10 people smoke, hundreds around them suffer. We get complaints from people who are affected by second hand smoke from other people," he told the daily.
He said NCAS had taken up the issue with both the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) and the International Cricket Council (ICC). Cricket World Cup 2003 spokesman Rodney Hartmann said however he was not aware of any discussions. "We have to see what they are proposing. We can't give a view until we hear from them," he said.