Smoke-free public places legislation came into force in Northern Ireland on 30 April 2007 under The Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006. Smoking is prohibited in enclosed or substantially enclosed public places and workplaces. Designated smoking rooms are not allowed. There are a few exemptions: private accommodation, designated hotel bedrooms, designated rooms in residential care homes, nursing homes and research and testing facilities, specialist tobacconists, prisons, young offenders’ centres and remand centres (certain areas are not exempt), designated rooms in residential accommodation in mental health units (until 30 April 2008), a designated room used as a detention cell within a police station, an exercise area within a police station and an interview room within a Child Abuse and Rape Enquiry (CARE) suite (until 30th April 2008).
At the end of March 2008 it was announced that smoking while driving is to be banned. This is part of a set of measures to improved road safety that are due to be implemented by January 2010 (ASH Scotland News 31/3/08)
Legislation – www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2006/uksi_20062957_en.pdf
Preparation for smokefree legislation
The campaign for smokefree legislation ran for many years and included lobbying decision makers, preparing evidence information on the health effects of secondhand smoke for the pubic. But ASH Northern Ireland and the Ulster Cancer Foundation were galvanised by the introduction of smokefree legislation in the Republic of Ireland in 2004. It success convinced decision makers and the public that comprehensive smokefree legislation was feasible. For more information on the campaign visit The Global Smokefree Partnership at www.globalsmokefree.com/gsp/index.php?section=article&id=5&parent=1&artigo=59
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) held a public consultation on possible strategies for legislation in March 2005. Almost 71, 000 people responded and more than 91% were in favour of comprehensive smokefree legislation. The government announced in June 2005 that it would introduce a partial smoking ban in, banning smoking in enclosed workplaces and in pubs and bars that serve food. The Health Minister then took a few months to consult with experts and the public before make the legislation comprehensive and cover all indoor public places and workplaces.
For more information on the public consultation visit www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/showconsultations?txtid=19500
Enforcement and compliance
A compliance telephone number is available. Compliance appears to be high so far with very few calls to the compliance line. See www.spacetobreathe.org.uk/article.asp?aid=229
Smokefree resources available in 2009
Space to breathe www.spacetobreathe.org.uk
First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Health Service Food and Human Resources: Online wholesale cigarettes store