New anti-smoking Bill for Lords



Tuesday 09 March 2004

ASH MEDIA RELEASE: Tuesday 9th March 2004

 

For Immediate Release

 

NEW ANTI-SMOKING BILL FOR LORDS

Challenge to hospitality industry as Culture Secretary’s 1994 Bill is reintroduced

A new private member’s Bill to restrict smoking in public places is being introduced in the House of Lords on No Smoking Day (Wednesday 10th March 2004) by Lord Faulkner of Worcester.   The Bill is virtually identical to a measure introduced in 1994 as a backbench Bill in the House of Commons by Tessa Jowell MP, now Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

 

Lord Faulkner’s Bill would prevent any employee from being required by their contract of employment to work in a smoking area. It would also give statutory backing to no-smoking areas in enclosed public places (including bars, pubs and restaurants), and allow the Government to set maximum permitted exposure levels to environmental tobacco smoke for both employees and members of the public.

 

An important reason for introducing the Bill is because the voluntary measures taken by the pub and restaurant industries under the self-regulatory Public Places Charter have failed. An independent survey of pubs and bars in England and Wales, commissioned by the Department of Health and the industry’s own Charter Group, reported that in March 2003 that only 3 of those surveyed had barred smoking, 764 had separate non-smoking areas, and 903 permitted smoking throughout their premises. One fifth of the sample had failed to comply with the Charter, even though this can be readily achieved by signs stating that smoking is permitted.

 

Lord Faulkner today commented: “Tessa Jowell has an admirable record in attempting to protect the public and employees from the damaging and unpleasant effects of other people’s tobacco smoke. She has already made clear her dissatisfaction with the performance of the hospitality industries and last month gave them two months to bring back proposals to make the Charter more effective. The public is sick and tired of the industry’s refusal to make adequate provision for those who detest second-hand smoke, whether at work or in public places.

 

ASH Director Deborah Arnott commented: “No Smoking Day is just the right day for this Bill to get its first Reading. The voluntary approach has clearly failed in the hospitality trade, and it is time that smokefree places got statutory backing. We will be supporting Lord Faulkner’s Bill every step of the way”.

 

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CONTACT:

Deborah Arnott     020 7739 5902 (w) 079 7693 5987 (m)

Ian Willmore         020 7739 5902 (w) 07887 641344 (m)