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Smoking

Volume 449: debated on Wednesday 19 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to make regulations concerning the prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places; and if she will make a statement. (86006)

[holding answer 17 July 2006]: The Department published a consultation on proposed regulations to be made under part one, chapter one of the Health Bill titled “Smoke-free premises and vehicles: Consultation on proposed regulations to be made under powers in the Health Bill” on 17 July 2006. Copies of the consultation document are available in the Library, or on the Department’s website at: www.dh.gov.uk/consultations/liveconsultations.

The “Smoke-free premises and vehicles” consultation will run between 17 July and 9 October 2006. Regulations will be laid after the consultation has ended and responses considered.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will undertake an assessment of the safety implications for health service staff arising from the recently introduced ban on smoking on health service property. (85330)

In the “Choosing Health” White Paper published in 2004, we set out our decision that national health service buildings would be smoke-free by the end of 2006, ahead of the requirements set out in the Health Bill, which will see virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces become smoke-free from summer 2007.

The removal of smoking from NHS buildings will not only result in protection from the harms associated with secondhand smoke for staff, patients and visitors to NHS buildings, but will result in greater safety, for example, by the reduction in the danger of fire. Consideration of the detailed safety implications at individual NHS properties will be for local managers.

The safety benefits of the smoke-free provisions of the Health Bill are referred to in the regulatory impact assessment published alongside the Bill, on its website at: www.dh.gov.uk/PublicationsAndStatistics/Legislation/RegulatoryImpactAssessment/RegulatoryimpactAssessmentArticle/fs/en?CONTENT_ID=4121917&chk=sUauD/