New Zealand embraces smoke-free agenda
Sinn Féin Health Spokesperson, Upper Bann MLA John O'Dowd has welcomed the decision of the New Zealand government to introduce a smoking ban in all enclosed public places.
Mr O‚Dowd said:
"While this is good news for people in New Zealand, people in this part of Ireland are still waiting on Angela Smith to move on this issue. It is not good enough for Ms Smith to be paralysed by inaction because British Health Secretary John Reid is wedded to the agenda of the tobacco industry.
"It is time that we joined with the lead given by the government in the south and by other countries across the world that are putting the health of their people first and the rights of workers at the top of the public health agenda.
"It is unacceptable that workers in this part of Ireland may be forced to wait until 2008 for a partial ban when compatriots in the rest of Ireland can already see the impact that the workplace smoking ban there is having on both the working environment for many of the lowest paid workers and on smoking habits." ENDS