TUC welcomes prospect of public smoking ban

The
TUC has welcomed the Prime Minister’s support for a ban on smoking in public
places.

Last
week, Tony Blair said the Government is considering introducing a ban on
smoking in public places and will come to a decision in the "next few
months".

Brendan
Barber, TUC general secretary, said: “Ending the exposure of workers to
second-hand tobacco smoke would not only save hundreds of lives every year, it
would also help reduce the levels of asthma and other smoke-related diseases in
the hospitality and other related industries.

“Asking
employers to prevent exposure to tobacco smoke voluntarily clearly has not
worked, and there is growing evidence that other proposed solutions, such
as  increased ventilation and no-smoking
areas, have only had minimal effect,” Barber added.

However,
he said the TUC would be concerned if it were left to individual local
authorities to ban smoking.

“There
would then be a danger that workers in one part of the country would be
protected, while others elsewhere still had to suffer from the effects of
passive smoking,” he said. "This is a national health issue, and must be
addressed nationally.”

By Daniel Thomas

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