Date Published: 2 July 2005

Pressure on UK Government to ban smoking in all enclosed workplaces and public places.

Health News from the United Kingdom (UK).

On Friday 1st July 2005 a campaign called "It's About Health and It's About Time" was launched by a group of four UK health-related organisations including:

  • Action on Smoking and Health (ASH),
  • Asthma UK,
  • British Heart Foundation (BHF),
  • British Medical Association (BMA),
  • Cancer Research UK (CR-UK), and
  • The Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

A wider coalition of health bodies has also signed up to the principles of the campaign the purpose of which is to put further pressure on the UK Government to introduce legislation to end smoking in all workplaces and enclosed public places.

This campaign will be launched at a press conference at 9.30 am on Tuesday 5 July in the Council Chamber of the Royal College of Physicians and is timed to be effective during summer 2005 during the consultation period for possible forthcoming legislation concerning smoking in public places.

  • Those in favour of a complete ban on smoking in all enclosed workplaces and public places justify their position in terms of the effects of passive smoking. Other arguments include setting an example for children and more impressionable individuals present, and also the futher incentive this may place on existing adult smokers to stop smoking - not only for their health and finances but also for new reasons of social convenience.
  • Those opposed to a complete ban on smoking in all enclosed workplaces and public places cite reasons of civil liberties including the rights of all adults to choose whether or not to smoke (and whether or not to be employed in smoky environments such as pubs and clubs). Other objections include the speculation that adults prevented from smoking outside of the home may therefore smoke more at home - which may be bad for babies and very young children (who are more likely to spend more time at home than in pubs/clubs/workplaces). Even many non-smoking adults would prefer smoking areas to be available to those who wish to use them.

Legislation of this type has already been introduced in some other countries including Ireland. The Scottish Parliment has also recently passed a similar bill - which is yet to come into force.

Source: Some of the above was sourced from a BMA Press Release that is no-longer available online.

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