Health Select Committee slams the Government's smoking plans

19 December 2005
Health Select Committee slams the Government's smoking plans

An influential committee of MPs has slammed the Government's smoking plans as "unfair, unjust, inefficient and unworkable", calling instead for a total ban.

The Health Select Committee said today that a partial ban linked to food in England would be more expensive to enforce than a total one and would exacerbate health inequalities between rich and poor areas.

"We find it hard to understand how the strong evidence base, clear public support, and the results of the Department of Health's own regulatory impact assessment can be ignored," the committee said in a statement.

The committee also pointed out there was at least as much public support for a total ban in England as there had been in Ireland before its highly successful ban.

Professor Alex Markham, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said: "The Government knows that pub workers will continue to die under a partial ban. We call on it to act on the views of doctors, health charities, the public and the hospitality industry and introduce a comprehensive smoke-free law as soon as possible."

by Chris Druce

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