Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Smoke-free London

The Greater London Authority (GLA) says it wants our views on banning smoking in public places.

It has set up an online survey to get our views. Londoners can log on to The Big Smoke Debate and complete a short questionnaire. And in case you don't get the hint, there are some 'Smoking FAQs' on the website too. 'Tobacco smoke is a major source of indoor air pollution.' 'Secondhand smoke contains 60 known or suspected carcinogens.' 'Secondhand smoke is now the only proven human carcinogen that is unregulated in the workplace.'

Do you notice a trend here? Reading on, we learn that passive smoking is linked to eye irritation, headache, cough, sore throat, dizziness, nausea, spontaneous abortion, cervical cancer, and adverse cognitive effects. Get the message yet? What about this: apparently, 78 per cent of those surveyed want people to be able to work in a smokefree environment - including waiting and bar staff.

Never mind the fact that the risk of suffering any health effect from passive smoking is low, or that the existing smoke-free areas in pubs are usually thinly populated. It sounds more like the GLA has a view and wants to be able to say that we share it.

The Big Smoke Debate, London Health Commission.

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