The TUC has called for the government to “be brave”, resist the lobbying of vested interests and ban smoking in all workplaces, including all pubs and clubs, by April 2006.
In its submission to the government consultation on restricting smoking at work, which closes today, the TUC said that anything other than a total ban would threaten the lives of hundreds of workers a year and the health of thousands more.
The TUC submission warns that proposals to allow smoking in pubs not serving prepared food, or in pubs with designated smoking areas, would cause a “confusing mess”, harming staff and customers.
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber, said: “It’s time for the government to be brave. The public wants a ban, the health arguments are overwhelming and all that is holding government back seems to be a reluctance to say no to business lobbying or risk being called nannies.
“The signs are that some ministers understand that this is an historic opportunity to make the most important improvement in public and employee health in a generation and save the lives of the 600 workers who die every year from passive smoke at work.
“The rest of the government should listen, be brave and enjoy the public support that a clear policy will win,” he added.