Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) sponsored a Fringe Meeting at the Conservative Party Conference in Bournemouth. Headed "Smoking and Public Health: can it be a Vote Winner?", it focussed on a ban on smoking in public places.
Ian Willmore, Public Affairs Manager of ASH, drew attention to the health risks that faced those who work in pubs, clubs and restaurants and said that passive smoking accounted for more deaths at the workplace than all other accidents put together. He hoped that the Government would not exempt pubs and clubs from a proposed ban. Peter Adams, a Poole Borough Councillor, said that public opinion hasd swung behind a ban, once the local authority had started to consult and inform. A huge majority now supported a ban.
Sir George said he hoped there would be a free vote on this issue in Parliament when - whichever Party was in power - he believed a majority would support a ban. "It may not be a vote winner; but I believe there are occasions when politicians should do what they believe to be right, rather than ask if it is popular with focus groups."