Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

100 Days ( Then We Will Kick the Habit

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

100 Days ( Then We Will Kick the Habit

Article excerpt

Byline: By Daniel Thomson

The countdown to a smoke free country has begun.

In just 100 days from today, legislation will come into effect making it illegal to smoke in an enclosed public place or workplace.

The smoke-free law, already heralded as one of the most important pieces of public health legislation ever to come into effect, was yesterday welcomed by health professionals and businesses throughout the North-East.

Fresh, the campaign for a smoke free North-East, has been working to raise awareness for the legislation, which they fought to bring into place, and yesterday [Thurs] said it could save more than 135,000 lives nationally.

Dr Robert Allcock[correct], a consultant chest physician at Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, was involved with the campaign and was at the House of Commons for the historic vote, which saw the law passed.

He said: "The smoke-free law is undoubtedly the biggest step forward for public health in 50 years and could have a huge impact in the North-East.

"Cigarette smoke is a huge problem in the region where there is still a disproportion of smoking-related diseases and creating a virtually smoke-free environment will undoubtedly save lives.

"The primary goal of the legislation was to deal with the problem of secondhand smoke, and it is estimated there will be 5,000 lives saved every year from passive smoking alone once this law is in place.

"In addition to the obvious benefits of giving us all a smoke-free environment, the new law will also provide an extra incentive for people to give up by hopefully removing some of the social pressure surrounding smoking in bars and restaurants."

Fresh ( Smoke Free North East director Ailsa Rutter [correct] said: "There are 100 days left until England goes smoke free on July 1, therefore it is vital that businesses across the region start preparing for this date to ensure a smooth transition for all involved. …

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