Designated Smoking Areas: Health Risks

Oral Answers to Questions — House of Commons Commission – in the House of Commons on 25th July 2019.

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Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Transport)

What recent assessment the Commission has made of the health risks of having designated smoking areas on the parliamentary estate.

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

The Administration Committee considers proposals for the provision of smoking areas. I can inform the hon. Member that, for instance, on 11 March it endorsed a proposal to close the smoking area outside the Woolsack bar towards the House of Lords end of the estate, and she may want to write to the Committee if she has concerns or proposals on this issue.

Photo of Rachael Maskell Rachael Maskell Shadow Minister (Transport)

Can we ensure that all designated smoking areas are risk-assessed—particularly the area between Portcullis House and Norman Shaw South, which is a major thoroughfare—not least because they are workplaces but also to ensure that we do the best for people’s health?

Photo of Tom Brake Tom Brake Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (International Trade), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union)

I can confirm that the House authorities have identified and assessed several designated smoking areas, but I will draw to their attention the smoking area that the hon. Lady has referred to, because Members will know that when crossing from Portcullis to Norman Shaw, there is a little bit of passive smoking for those of us who are not smokers.