Passive smoking Bill calls for tighter rules

A Labour MP has introduced a new Bill requiring firms to protect workers
from passive smoking.

Leicestershire MP David Taylor insists that the law on passive smoking in
the workplace is "ambiguous and very loosely defined".

He said, "While a voluntary approach to reduce or eliminate this
dangerous exposure to noxious and toxic fumes has worked in numerous places, it
has failed in very many others. It will continue to fail unless the Government
takes action."

Taylor claimed that an obligation on employers to implement the Health and
Safety Commission’s Approved Code of Practice on passive smoking would
eradicate the ambiguities in the law. He told the Commons that it would pave
the way for the Health and Safety Act 1974 to encompass passive smoking.

The Government backed ACOP two years ago, but "appeared slow" to
introduce it, Taylor added.

The Protection from Smoking (Employees and Young Persons) Bill has little
chance of becoming law but was intended to prick the Government’s conscience.

The legislation, which would also protect children from passive smoking in
public places, was backed by 11 MPs.

An estimated 3 million non-smokers are frequently or continuously exposed to
secondhand smoke, according to a survey by the Office for National Statistics.

Taylor cited evidence of the link between passive smoking and disease. He
said the Government’s scientific advisers had "confirmed without
equivocation" that passive smoking causes cancer, heart disease and
respiratory diseases.

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