Health secretary says smoking ban is not enough

Banning smoking in public places will not be enough to make people break the habit, according to health secretary John Reid.

Tomorrow, the Government will publish a Public Health White Paper, which is expected to contain recommendations about limiting smoking.

Reid said that other measures were needed, including higher taxes and NHS initiatives such as nicotine patches and helplines.

More weight was given to the call to ban smoking in workplaces throughout the UK last week after a survey found that smoking kills more than 86,000 people every year.

A ban is already in place in Ireland, and the Scottish Parliament will decide whether to follow suit before Christmas.

The report, The Smoking Epidemic in England, by the Health Development Agency (HDA), found that smoking kills 86,500 people a year – the equivalent of 230 people a day.

Dame Yve Buckland, chair of the HDA, said: “Smoking is an important part of health inequality. The poorer you are, the more likely you are to smoke, the less likely you are to quit, and the more likely you are to die from smoking-related causes.”

A ban in England and Wales has the support of the union movement.

Brendan Barber, general secretary of the TUC, said: “It is time for the Government to properly protect all UK workers from the dangers of second-hand smoke. A nationwide ban on smoking in all workplaces, using health and safety laws, would save hundreds of lives every year,” he said.

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