United Kingdom - proposed legislation to ban smoking on ships..

December 11, 2009 - The National Public Health Service for Wales (NPHS) Health Improvement and Health Inequalities Teams have produced a response to the Department of Transport proposal to ban smoking on ships. The NPHS fully supports the position that people working and travelling on ships should be protected from other peoples’ second-hand tobacco smoke.

At present, the bans on smoking in public places in Great Britain (Wales, England, Scotland) and Northern Ireland do not cover ships. This is because ships fall under the regulation of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995. The Department of Transport are proposing some new legislation “Merchant Shipping (Prohibition of Smoking on Ships) Regulations” which aims to ban smoking in all areas on-board ships operating in the United Kingdom (UK).

People will only be allowed to smoke in specific zones approved by the ship’s Captain.

Smoking is the most common preventable cause of ill health and premature death in Wales. A quarter of Welsh adults currently smoke, and two-thirds of non-smokers in Wales are exposed to other people’s tobacco smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke (also known as second hand smoke or passive smoking) can cause heart disease, lung cancer, asthma and stroke in adult non-smokers. It can also be responsible for sudden infant death syndrome, middle ear infections and asthma attacks in children.

Smoking bans encourage people to reduce their smoking and quit altogether, decreasing the amount of tobacco smoke in the environment, therefore helping to improve the health of current smokers and non-smokers.

Reference: Smoking ban extended to ships, NewsWales.co.uk, 12/11/2009.

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