Comments are closed. Government rejects a ban on smoking in public placesOn 1 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today The Government has rejected calls for a ban on smoking in public places,despite growing pressure from the medical profession. In November, the 18 royal colleges of medicine, headed by the Royal Collegeof Physicians, called for legislation to eliminate the 1,000 deaths a yearcaused by passive smoking. That call has been backed by the British Medical Association (BMA), whichreiterated its position that legislation should be brought in to prohibitsmoking in the workplace at the start of December. A survey by pollster YouGov, also published in December, found that 87 percent of those questioned supported a ban in offices, 80 per cent backed a banin factories and 94 per cent would welcome a ban in shops. But public health minister Melanie Johnson, while agreeing that smoke-freeplaces are “an ideal”, said that a universal ban was not justified,and that such a move would not yet have enough public support. As it stands,businesses are simply encouraged to create a smoke-free atmosphere through avoluntary code of conduct. The Government’s position even goes against the advice of its own chiefmedical officer for England, Professor Sir Liam Donaldson, who argued in favourof a smoking ban. However, ministers are thought to be reluctant to follow the example ofcities such as New York for fear of being branded a ‘nanny state’. There isalso opposition to an outright ban from the pub and hospitality trade. Dr Bill O’Neill, Scottish BMA secretary, said: “For more than 20 years,the UK has had a succession of voluntary agreements on smoking, and not one hasbeen successful in protecting the health of the public. “By continuing to hide behind voluntary measures, the Government, theHealth and Safety Commission and employers are failing to protectemployees.” In an unrelated move, the Department of Health (DoH) has agreed a deal withsuppliers of smoking cessation products to help at least 10,000 more smokersquit by giving the NHS free quitting products, such as nicotine patches andgum. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos.