De Brún throws support behind charities in call for smoking ban
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has this morning pledged her support to two local charities in their campaign to put pressure on the British Government to introduce a smoking ban in the Six Counties. Ms de Brún said that the "British Government must implement a ban without delay".
Both MacMillan Cancer Relief and the Ulster Cancer Foundation have joined forces to urge people to demand a smoke free environment in the workplace.
Speaking today, the MEP and former Assembly Health Minister said:
"I want to pledge my support for the campaign by local cancer charities, to demand the immediate introduction of a smoking ban in the workplace.
"Many people are unaware that the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety is currently undertaking a consultation process on smoking in the workplace. MacMillan Cancer Relief and the Ulster Cancer Foundation are to be praised for helping to draw attention to this matter and to help ensure that people have their say. Consultation periods are an important component of the democratic process.
"As the ban nears its first anniversary in the 26 counties (March 29th), Sinn Féin believes that it has been a complete success. A recent survey in the south of the country found that 70% of people believed that the ban enhanced their pub experience.
"In the face of irrefutable evidence about the effects of passive smoking I believe that the British Government should implement this ban without delay.
"A ban on smoking in the workplaces will eventually come into force in the 6 Counties. There is now a clear international trend that we cannot afford to ignore here. When countries across several continents can follow the lead set down in the south of Ireland, there is no reason for us not to do so in the Six Counties.
"One thing is patently clear - when such a ban eventually does come into force people will be asking why we didn't have the political will to do it earlier. Sinn Féin will continue to press for the ban as a matter of urgency for the well-being of all citizens." ENDS