Alliance Spokesman Councillor Tom Campbell has welcomed the fact that the Government is to introduce a ban in public places but has hit out at the failure of the proposals to contain a complete ban.
Councillor Campbell, a member of Newtownabbey Council, said:
“The public response to the consultation exercise was more strongly in favour of a ban on public places than anyone expected and by a massive 91%. The Government is being far too cautious in its approach given the substantial support here for effective anti smoking legislation. It is of concern that the Minister is taking a further few months to decide on whether to introduce a partial or complete ban. Given that it works in the Republic and is easily enforceable despite the predictions that it could not be enforced. A short trip over the border could easily reassure any doubts which may have been generated by the drinks industry here.”
“Whilst I welcome the fact that there is to be some form of a ban on smoking, this statement is disappointing in that it suggest further delay and possible compromise with the representatives of pubs and restaurants likely to be affected by legislation. Any compromise such as the inclusion of no smoking areas is unacceptable given the public’s clear views on this subject. I trust that the Minister’s period of reflection will bring firm action.”