LONDON -- Pizza Hut has banned smoking in all its dine-in outlets in the UK.
According to Reuters, Brian Rimmer, Pizza Hut's UK operations director, said the company "strongly believes that families should be able to take time to have a leisurely meal in a restaurant without exposing their children to other people's smoke. ... It is equally important that our staff can work in a smoke-free environment."
There are 500 full-service, dine-in Pizza Hut outlets around Britain. The ban will not apply to the company's delivery-carryout units.
The mere habit of smoking is under fire around the globe. The World Health Organization wrote a treaty calling for a worldwide ban on tobacco company advertising and sponsorship. According to the WHO, smoking kills 5 million people annually.
Brazil, Botswana, Iran, Britain, New Zealand and Spain have all signed the pact.
Smoking in public places is now prohibited in the Philippines, and all tobacco advertising will be banned there within five years.
Greece, home to the European Union's heaviest smokers, has extended a smoking ban from public spaces to the private sector as it prepares to host the 2004 Olympic Games.