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Sinn Féin urge extension of right to smoke-free workplace

27 May, 2004

Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd has welcomed reports that the NIO is looking favourably on introducing the right to a smoke-free workplace in the Six Counties.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Sinn Fein have been urging the NIO to adopt legislation on banning smoking similar to that in the south for some time now. It is very positive that it appears that the NIO are now considering extending the right to a smoke-fee working environment into the Six Counties.

"The introduction of a smoking ban in the workplace would be the single greatest advance in public health for a generation.

"Sinn Féin believe we need a greater focus on public health and the prevention of illness. Bairbre de Brún started the ball rolling with the Investing for Health Strategy; this is the logical next step.

"Regardless of what happens in Britain, there is now a compelling case for immediate steps to introduce legislation here in line with the rest of Ireland and demonstrate that there is a real commitment to the public health agenda, to improving the health of our workforce and in helping to reduce serious illness and disease." ENDS

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