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Volume 931: debated on Wednesday 4 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his policy regarding the power of area health authorities to prohibit smoking in National Health Service hospitals.

My right hon. Friend prefers to rely on persuasion and negotiation rather than prohibition. He has recently issued fresh guidance to health authorities urging further discouragement of smoking in hospitals, and suggesting particular ways of achieving this. It is for health authorities to implement this guidance in their local circumstances.