Caterer calls time on smoking

17 November 2004 by
Caterer calls time on smoking
This week *Caterer* is calling on the Government to help safeguard the health of the 1.6 million hospitality professionals by launching its campaign for a smoking ban in all UK pubs, clubs, restaurants and hotels. We're launching our Stub out Smoking campaign following an exclusive *Caterer* reader survey, which provided overpowering evidence that hospitality workers fear passive smoking is harmful to health. The survey, which polled more than 1,000 readers\*, found that an overwhelming 95% of respondents believed working in a smoky atmosphere was damaging their health, while 87% said they would choose to work in a smoke-free environment if possible. More than half of those polled (57%) reported having noticed side effects from inhaling other people's smoke at work. These statistics prove beyond doubt that hospitality employees believe they would benefit from a blanket ban on smoking in the workplace. Our survey also sends out an important message to employers, as nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents reported that a company's anti-smoking policy made it a more attractive employer. The facts are simple: smoking and passive smoking can kill (see below). The Government's chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, said in his annual report that "clearing the air of second-hand smoke in restaurants, bars and other enclosed public places would protect the health of both workers and customers". If the Government presses forward with legislation, the hospitality industry needs to ensure it has full input into consultation over a ban. Bob Cotton, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), said a ban was almost inevitable, and that the BHA would prefer a consistent approach across the whole country. "The worst-case scenario would be for power to be devolved to local authorities. Who is to say that the health of someone in one local authority is more important than someone's health in another?" And that's why we're lobbying the Government for a total ban on smoking in the workplace. We want the rules to apply across all local authorities throughout the UK, because if they're not, trade will be distorted. \\* Poll sample was 1,005 The health argument: - A non-smoker's risk of developing heart disease is increased by 35% if they work in a smoky atmosphere, with the chance of them developing lung cancer heightened by 30%, according to figures from the British Medical Association (BMA). - Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) claims passive smoking is linked to 1,000 deaths in the UK each year, 700 of which are caused in the workplace, which makes passive smoking look like a very dangerous activity when only 226 deaths from industrial accidents were registered in 2002, according to the Health & Safety Executive. - Cigarette smoke contains 400 different chemicals (BMA).
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