MPs on quest to discover secrets of success of Ireland’s smokefree law

Monday 04 October 2004

ASH news release:  For immediate release:   Monday 4th October 2004


UK politicians are travelling to Dublin this week to see for themselves how the smoke-free legislation is working and to see what lessons can be applied to the UK.

In advance of the White Paper on Public Health – due in November and now expected to include a regulation to restrict or ban smoking in workplaces – members of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health will be talking to their Irish counterparts to discuss the Irish law and its impact.  Already, just six months after the law was introduced, public opinion shows overwhelming support and compliance is running at a rate of around 97%.

David Taylor, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Smoking and Health said:

“The smoke-free law in Ireland is clearly popular and is already bringing health benefits due to the fall in smoking. Our delegation will be meeting the people who helped to bring about this landmark legislation.  We hope to learn from our Irish colleagues and will seek to apply the lessons learned from Ireland to the UK.”

The following politicians are travelling to Ireland as part of the APG delegation:

  • Mr David Taylor  MP
  • Ms Julie Morgan MP
  • Mr John Robertson MP
  • Lord Richard Faulkner
  • Lord Tim Clement Jones
  • Baroness Detta O’Cathain

Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity ASH, said:

“The Irish smoke-free law has been one of the best things to happen in public health policy for many years. It has shown that a simple law which ends dangerous exposure to secondhand smoke can be both popular and effective. Decision-makers in Britain have a lot to learn from Ireland, and the MPs and Peers from the All-Party Group will be bringing those lessons back to help inform the content and debate around the forthcoming White Paper on public health.”


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Notes and links:

A full briefing on the Irish smoke-free legislation is available as a pdf here.

ASH provides secretarial support for the All Party Group on Smoking and Health.