Smoking Ban Repeal Bill Defeated
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14 Oct 2010
Yesterday in the House of Commons the Bury North MP David Nuttall attempted to introduce a bill to partially repeal the smoking ban, giving exemption to pubs and social clubs. Mr Nuttall's proposals would have allowed landlords and licensees to have dedicated smoking lounges for drinkers. As a strong advocate of the ban I was happy to speak out in opposition to this bill.
The ban has had an enormous impact on improving people's health, most notably in the case of workers in the hospitality industry. The issue surrounding employees' exposure to peoples’ life threatening habits whilst in the workplace was a major reason for the ban being introduced.
Mr Nuttall’s line of argument was previously debated in Parliament over four years ago when MPs of all parties voted, by an overwhelming majority, for no exemption to be provided. It is interesting to note that a ‘partial’ ban in Spain has been unsuccessful and it is looking increasingly likely that the ban there will be extended at some time in the near future.
I believe that a repeal of the smoking ban would have a negative effect on attempts to tackle health inequalities so I was pleased that Mr Nuttall's bill was defeated.