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Success of Southern smoking ban must pave way for introduction in the North - Bairbre de Brún

25 March, 2005


Sinn Fein MEP and former Assembly Health Minister Bairbre de Brún as today reiterated her calls for a complete ban on smoking in enclosed public places in the Six Counties. Ms de Brún said that 'the success story of the ban in the south means that its benefits are impossible to ignore'.

Ms de Brún made her comments on the final day of Angela Smith's consultation in the north and as the first anniversary of the ban in the south approaches (29.03.05) .

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"I want to urge anyone who has not yet made their views known in the smoking ban consultation in the north to do so. They can still go on line today to respond on the DHSSPS website www.dhsspsni.gov.uk

"I also want to pay tribute to all of those individuals and organisations who have worked so very hard throughout the north to keep this issue in the spotlight. There is a growing realisation amongst very many people that such legislation would be practical and extremely beneficial to the health of all workers.

"As the first anniversary of the ban approaches in the south of Ireland, it is worth reflecting upon its success. It has been estimated that 7,000 smokers have given up smoking, with many more reducing their intake of tobacco products since the introduction of the ban. The time is long overdue for an all-Ireland ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

"I want to commend the Irish Government for taking this bold initiative. I would urge the Minister for Health Mary Harney to seek a meeting with British Minister Angela Smith, to discuss the practicalities of introducing such a ban island-wide.

"Angela Smith should now move on this speedily. All the local political parties support the right of workers to work in a smoke free environment and she must take this into account and act immediately." ENDS

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