Magazine article Public Finance

Northern Ireland Faces Part or Total Ban on Smoking in Public Places

Magazine article Public Finance

Northern Ireland Faces Part or Total Ban on Smoking in Public Places

Article excerpt

Northern Ireland is to adopt either a full or partial ban on smoking in public places, Health Minister Shaun Woodward has announced, in a speech in which he branded much of the provinces health service as completely unacceptable'.

A public consultation exercise drew more than 70,000 responses, revealing 91% of respondents wanted a total ban on smoking in public places. A mere half a per cent supported self-regulation by the industry, which has been dropped as an option.

Woodward, spealdng at a conference in Belfast on improving health care qualify through effective governance, said it would take a few more months' to decide whether to ban smoking in all enclosed public places and workplaces, or whether to permit smoking in pubs and bars where food is not served.

The licensed trade welcomed the decision not to announce a complete ban. Nicola Carruthers, of the Federation of Retail Licensed Trade, said: 'We have worked hard to demonstrate that the issue of passive smoking can be responsibly addressed by the licensed trade without the need for a total smoking ban.'

Woodward was more decisive in spelling out the need for radical and urgent reform of the structure and service standards of health organisations in Northern Ireland. …

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