SMOKEFREE WINS THE DAY: GREATEST PUBLIC HEALTH GAIN FOR THIRTY YEARS



Wednesday 15 February 2006

ASH News Release: Immediate Release Tuesday 14th February 2006

 

SMOKEFREE WINS THE DAY: GREATEST PUBLIC HEALTH GAIN FOR THIRTY YEARS

Action on Smoking and Health has expressed “delight” that MPs have voted in favour of comprehensive smokefree legislation covering all workplaces, including pubs and clubs.

 

At present, more than two million people in England and Wales work in places where smoking is allowed throughout and another ten million in places were smoking is allowed somewhere on the premises. The vote today will save hundreds of lives of non-smokers now exposed to other people’s smoke at work, and thousands of lives of smokers who will use the new law as a reason to quit. The Government’s own estimate is that about 700,000 smokers will quit across England.

 

Deborah Arnott, Director of ASH said:

 

“We are absolutely delighted that MPs have listened to the arguments, looked at the evidence and decided that comprehensive smokefree legislation is a cause whose time has come. England will now see the same benefits from this law as Ireland already has, and as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland shortly will.

 

I want to thank MPs from the Health Select Committee, and many other backbenchers from all Parties, who fought to win a free vote and to see this law put through the Commons. I also want to thank the thousands of health professionals, campaigners and ordinary people who have worked so hard to persuade MPs. In other countries with smokefree laws, Ministers led the campaign. In England, this campaign has been won without clear leadership from Government, which only makes the result even more remarkable.

 

This vote will save thousands of lives, as non-smokers are protected from other people’s smoke and as smokers quit in their hundreds of thousands. MPs will rarely get the chance to cast a vote that does so much good, at such little cost, in such a short time. This is the best news for public health for more than thirty years.

 

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Contact:         Deborah Arnott   07976 935987 (m)

                        Ian Willmore       020 7739 5902 (w) 

                                                    07887 641344 (m)

 

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