NHS: The benefits of smoke-free air

PUBLISHED: 12:20 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

Smoke free

Smoke free

ON February 14 MPs voted for a full ban on smoking inside all workplaces, including pubs, restaurants and private members clubs. The legislation will come into force in the summer of 2007. Workplaces could then be fined up to £2,500 for failing to stop p

ON February 14 MPs voted for a full ban on smoking inside all workplaces, including pubs, restaurants and private members' clubs.

The legislation will come into force in the summer of 2007. Workplaces could then be fined up to £2,500 for failing to stop people smoking in restricted areas.

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt estimates 600,000

people will be encouraged to give up smoking as a result of the law and millions more will be protected from the dangers of second-hand smoke.

Currently two million people in England are exposed to second-hand smoke in workplaces increasing their chance of contracting lung cancer by 24 per cent and heart disease by 25 per cent.

In 2003 smoke-free Cambridgeshire and Peterborough was set up as a partnership between district councils, trading standards, the NHS and many others to find ways of reducing smoking and minimising exposure to second-hand smoke. Currently this alliance of partners is offering support and advice to local businesses that wish to develop or implement their smoke free policy before legislation.

Many workplaces in Cambs are already smoke free and by actively supporting smokers among their staff who wish to quit they now have a happier, healthier and more productive workforce.

An increasing number of pubs are going smoke free and finding that it has been good for business. Fred Muddiman, a pub owner in Cambs, said: " I get really positive comments from our customers. They like to enjoy their food and drink in a fresh atmosphere. We've had no problems from customers who smoke as many of them support what we've done".

Any workplaces interested in gaining support with going smoke free in preparation for introduction of the new law should contact Zoë Harvey from Smoke Free Cambridgeshire and Peterborough at zoe.harvey@cambsphn.nhs.uk or telephone 01480 398585.

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