date: 30 June 2008
embargo: 00.01hrs Tuesday 1 July 2008
On the first anniversary of the introduction of smoking restrictions in workplaces and public places in England, the TUC says today (Tuesday) that the ban's success is because the law change was backed by strong, simple regulation.
Commenting on the smoke-free regulations, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: 'As with other safety issues such as the use of seat belts or crash helmets, the use of a voluntary approach had failed to make any real difference. It was only when a legally enforceable ban was introduced across the whole of England that we saw exposure to second-hand smoke cut out at a stroke. Quite simply, the ban has made a world of difference to the health of millions of workers.
'Introducing smoke-free laws in the workplace was one of the biggest occupational health measures the UK had seen for decades. Before the ban came in, it was estimated that every year up to 700 workers died as a result of having to breath in other people's tobacco fumes. Now that bars, clubs and restaurants are no longer full of toxic cigarette smoke, around 700 lives will be saved every single year thanks to this effective piece of legislation.'
NOTES TO EDITORS:
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Issued: 1 July, 2008