Sir George writes to the Prime Minister on Passive Smoking
14 Oct 2005
Rt Hon. Tony Blair MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
SW1A 2AA


13th October 2005

Dear Prime Minister

Smokefree Legislation

We are writing as MPs and peers from the three main parties to urge you to support the removal of the exemptions from smokefree legislation proposals for pubs that do not serve food and private membersā€˜ clubs. These exemptions seem to us to be both undesirable and unworkable.

As a recent survey showed, support for comprehensive smokefree legislation is now strong among MPs across all three parties, with 69% supporting this. This is backed up by recent opinion polls showing high and growing public support for the measure, which has been extremely popular in Ireland from the day it was introduced.

The Government cannot, and in our view, should not, ignore the majority voice of people and politicians. Introducing legislation with exemptions and loopholes would deny protection to the many thousands of workers in the hospitality industry who are currently exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke, and substantially increase health inequalities in the poorest communities.

We would also urge you to bring in comprehensive legislation at a reasonably early date and not to pursue a staged approach as suggested in the Department of Health consultation document. It seems to us that a start date during 2007 would give more than enough time for the legislation to be publicised and for employers and others to make necessary arrangements.

This is a chance to achieve a major and irreversible step forwards in public health, which will save thousands of lives, and we do hope that your Government will seize the opportunity.

Yours sincerely



David Taylor MP
Chair of the APPG on
Smoking & Health

Rt Hon Sir George Young MP

Steve Webb MP

Lord Clement-Jones CBE

Lord Faulkner of Worcester

The Baroness O'Cathain OBE


 
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