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New Clause 5 — Smoke-free premises: exemptions

Part of Orders of the Day — Health Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 14th February 2006.

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Photo of Lembit Öpik Lembit Öpik Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Affairs, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, Welsh Affairs 4:45 pm, 14th February 2006

I would say that the hon. Gentleman has my full support, but that would probably be the kiss of death to his argument, and perhaps to his career.

I suggest a middle way—a fourth way, perhaps—that has not been much discussed. Why do we focus on the process of smoking, rather than on the outcome of clean air? Does he agree that we should be willing to entertain the challenge of an indoor clean air Act and leave technology the challenge of finding a solution? A multimillion pound business such as smoking surely has the creativity and willingness to make the investment to find that solution, instead of our taking away people's freedom of choice.

Annotations

Chris Broscomb
Posted on 30 Mar 2006 12:16 am (Report this annotation)

Possibly the most commonsense in the whole debate. There were alternatives to a total ban and yet they were never allowed into the chamber.
There has always been freedom of choice and many premises, at great expense, encouraged non-smokers by providing smoke free environments.
Now around a 1/4 of the (voting) population will only be able to access these essential community meeting places and involve themselves in community activity if they conform to unnecessarily Draconian rules. Our communities will be the poorer for the ban .....
In my youth there was trouble for smoking in the bikesheds now they're being exiled to it!

Tom Morris
Posted on 30 Mar 2006 8:31 am (Report this annotation)

It's the right of the landlord to set whatever rules they wish on people entering their property.