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de Brún demands action from British Government to implement smoking ban

31 May, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today demanded that the British Government move to implement a smoking ban in workplaces across the north immediately.

Ms de Brun made her comments on World No Tobacco Day, and followed up an appeal by the Health Promotion Agency to the British Direct Rule Health Minister Shaun Woodward.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"On World No Tobacco Day, Sinn Féin is again reiterating our calls for a complete smoking ban in workplaces across the Six Counties. Both myself and my colleagues have publicly called for an all Ireland approach on this matter. A recent study found that 7000 people in the South have given up smoking or attempted to since the introduction of the smoking ban. This provides us with yet more evidence of the benefits of such legislation.

"The British Government has a responsibility to protect the health and well-being of the general public. The last Direct Rule Minister with responsibility for health, Angela Smith had the opportunity to deal definitively with the issue of smoking in the workplace during her term and did not. The constant revolving door of part-time British ministers in the north ensures that the buck can be passed many times over.

"The latest minister Shaun Woodward must act and act now. The success of the smoking ban in the 26 counties and the decision by the Scottish Executive should provide the catalyst for such an approach in the 6 counties, for the sake of the health and well being of all our citizens. All the local political parties support the right of workers to work in a smoke free environment and Mr Woodward must take this into account." ENDS

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