Fatal risks of passive smoking

Exposure to passive smoking kills more than 1,000 people living and working
in the capital each year, the Greater London Authority has warned.

Those most at risk were people who worked in the hospitality industry, but
anyone visiting a pub, club, restaurant, casino, concert hall or sports club
two or three times a week might be at risk, the GLA’s Smoking in Public Places
Committee found.

The committee is calling on the Government to re-examine its code of
practice on passive smoking at work without delay and to make it a priority
that scientific research into the health risks of passive smoking from
occasional exposure is carried out.

Jennette Arnold, committee chairman, said: "There is also inadequate
understanding of the links to heart disease and a clear need to raise public
awareness of the health risks of passive smoking. In particular we need to make
smokers more aware of the effects their smoke can have."

But the GLA’s report was criticised by doctors, who called it a "missed
opportunity".

The BMA said the GLA should have recommended concrete measures to curb
exposure to passive smoking, particularly among children and other vulnerable
groups.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, BMA head of science, said: "While we welcome the
recommendations that workplaces should be smoke-free and that restaurants and
bars should cater for non-smokers, these measures fall far short of offering
the protection that Londoners want and need."

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