BMA urges Prime Minister to ban smoking in public places

The British Medical Association (BMA) has called for all Britain's workplaces to become smokefree at the organisation's annual conference in Wales today.

The BMA said that it will be sending 4,500 letters, written by doctors demanding a total ban on smoking in enclosed public places, to the Prime Minister next week.

At the beginning of June the BMA urged 1,000 doctors to write a letter to the Prime Minister on this issue to represent the 1,000 people who die every year from second-hand tobacco smoke. By the end of the month 4,500 letters were received.

Delegates at the Llandudno conference heard that, in the UK, approximately three million workers are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke and around 1.3 million workers are exposed to second-hand smoke at least 75% of the time. Workers in lower socio-economic groups run the greatest risk of exposure, according to the BMA.

Dr Maguire, a consultant from Northern Ireland and the Deputy Chairman of the BMA Board of Science, said: "I live in Northern Ireland and yet I travel down to the Republic because I know that's where I have the choice to enjoy a beer in a smokefree pub. I have seen that the ban on smoking in public places in Ireland has not affected business – business is booming there.

Smokefree places means life not death."

He added: "The British government needs to have courage and follow the lead of Ireland, New York and Norway."

There is conclusive evidence that second-hand smoke causes lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory infections, he added.


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

27 October 2005
Government to introduce partial smoking ban
The government has announced plans to introduce a partial smoking ban, following reports of a Cabinet row over the proposals. The plans, introduced as part of the Health Improvement Bill, will see smoking banned in all public places in England, but there will be exemptions for pubs, which do not serve food and private members clubs.
28 April 2005
BMA reinforces call for UK-wide smoking ban
The British Medical Association (BMA) has reinforced its call for a UK-wide ban on smoking in public places, with the publication of a report which, it claims, will “counter the myths” generated by opponents to the ban.
28 July 2004
Health report adds weight to smoking ban demands
Concerns that a ban on smoking in public places would disastrously affect the leisure industry have been dismissed by the Chief Medical Officer as "unfounded", in his annual report published today. Sir Liam Donaldson said that a "major plank" of the argument against smoke-free public places and workplaces had been "removed" by the study.
28 September 2004
BMA demand smoking ban in public places
Using Ireland's recent anti-smoking legislation as a benchmark, BMA Chairman James Johnson today urged the government to follow suit and introduce a smoking ban.
02 April 2014
Wales Could Restrict The Use Of E-Cigarettes In Public Places
New measures to address some of Wales' major public health challenges, including high levels of drinking and smoking, are being put forward by the Welsh Government today.