Great News for Northern Ireland as Smoking Stubbed Out in All Workplaces: Now for England

Monday 17 October 2005

Media Release:  For Immediate Use, Monday 17th October 2005   


Great News for Northern Ireland as Smoking Stubbed Out in All Workplaces: Now for England


Action on Smoking and Health has given a warm welcome to the decision by Northern Ireland Health Minister Shaun Woodward that smoking will be ended in every workplace and enclosed public place in the province by April 2007.


The news will increase pressure on Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to announce a similar move in England. The Scottish Parliament has already passed smokefree legislation, and the National Assembly has resolved to do so as soon as it is given the powers in the Government’s forthcoming Health Improvement and Protection Bill. But the Cabinet has yet to decide on whether to back comprehensive legislation in England, with Ms Hewitt reported to be considering “smoking carriages” in multi-room pubs, an idea dismissed as “dreadful” by leading representatives of the hospitality trade.


ASH Director Deborah Arnott states


“Shaun Woodward’s excellent decision will lead to the most important advance for public health in Northern Ireland for thirty years. Non-smokers will be protected from the health damage caused by secondhand smoke and many smokers in the province will be prompted to give up.


But this welcome move throws into stark relief the protracted dithering by the UK Cabinet about a decision for England. Over the next two years, enclosed public places in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will all become fully smokefree. Anything less for England would be a timid and unworkable bodge. It is past time for Ministers to make up their minds – England must be smokefree too.”   


– ENDS –





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