The Alliance Party has welcomed the decision of Health Minister Shaun Woodward to introduce a smoking ban but criticised the delay in the implementation of the new law.
Spokesman Cllr Tom Campbell said:
“We welcome the anticipated introduction of a complete as opposed to a partial ban but are disappointed that the legislation is to be delayed until 2007.The likelihood is that Scotland will have already introduced similar measures well before we do and the timing is one of apparent legislative convenience. This will be a considerable to many who have campaigned for such measures especially the medical profession.
“I would hope that employers and those who provide food and drink to the public take note of the inevitability of a ban and start introducing smoking bans voluntarily rather than having to be forced to when the law is eventually introduced. In the consultation exercise the vast majority of those surveyed were in favour of these measures. Smokers must realise that this is their last drag and that they will no longer get away with polluting the air of those who do not share their habit. I hope that even this hardened group will see that this is the last chance saloon and that they will address their behaviour towards others accordingly. If they are willing to ignore the palpable health risks of smoking they must not be allowed to damage the health of anyone else.”