As chair of the all-party group on smoking and health, I welcome the recent anniversary of smoke-free Scotland and I look forward in four days' time to smoke-free Wales and in four weeks and four days' time to smoke-free Northern Ireland, and on
[That this House looks forward to the introduction of smokefree legislation in England on 1st July this year, following Wales on 2nd April and Northern Ireland on 30th April; applauds the protection from proven health risks of secondhand smoke which this will afford to smokers and non-smokers alike in the vast majority of workplaces and public places; notes the successful passing of the first anniversary of smokefree Scotland; further applauds the 46,000 Scots who used NHS Scotland to support their attempt to stop smoking; recognises that a huge surge in demand is expected for Stop Smoking Services in England, running up to, on and following 1st July; welcomes the £10 million additional funding for 2006-07 and 2007-08 provided by the Department of Health to primary care trusts (PCTs) for increased provision of Stop Smoking Services; regrets that there is evidence that many frontline services are being cut at this vital time despite the additional Government funding; and urges the Government to ring-fence the funding to PCTs for the provision of Stop Smoking Services in 2007-08 to ensure that the unique opportunity presented by Smokefree England to make a dramatic cut in smoking prevalence is not wasted. ]
It draws attention to the fact that the Government have allocated a fair amount of money to boost stop-smoking services, which is what some people are doing at the implementation of this legislation. May we have a debate on how we can protect such funding? Research shows that that extra funding is being used—snaffled, even—by primary care trusts for other services and that smoke-free services are being reduced in scale. May we have a debate on public health and how we can protect finances and give high priority to that aspect of our health policy?