Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Tobacco Manufacturers view on Smoking ban has resembles British Labour Governments position

22 July, 2004


Sinn Féin Health spokesperson, Upper Bann MLA John O Dowd has described the recent lobby letter to local elected representatives from the Tobacco Manufacturers Association opposing a Smoking Ban as having an 'uncanny resemblance to recent comments from John Reid, the British Health minister'.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"This lobby letter from the Tobacco Manufacturers Association opposing a Smoking Ban has an uncanny resemblance to recent comments from John Reid, the British Health minister.

"The TMA attempts to argue that people do not mind socialising or working within a smoking environment that can have lethal consequences and adds that there are more important things bothering communities than smoking. Such arguments bear a striking resemblance to Mr Reid's position.

"The most alarming comments within the TMA letter is that employers should only be expected to look after the health and welfare of their employees as far as 'reasonably practicable'.

"Why should we expect those who serve us food and drink in hotels and restaurants to have any less protection for their health than any other worker?

"The TMA and the British Government will have to listen to the biggest opinion poll of them all, the election process. All the local political parties support the right of all the workers in our society to work in a smoke free environment. It is time that British direct rule ministers started to actually take note of what is required here."ENDS

Note to editors

The TMA document can be viewed on, publicsmoking.the-tma.org.uk.

The letter to local elected representatives from the TMA can be forwarded by

fax on request by contacting John O Dowd on 07880961276

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