‘Is Health Secretary Benson & Hedging his bets over total smoke ban?’: McCarthy

ALLIANCE Health Spokesperson Alderman Kieran McCarthy MLA (Strangford) has welcomed plans for a ban on smoking in England and urged the NI Health Minister to bring forward proposals for a similar ban in Northern Ireland.

Mr McCarthy stated:

“Recent research has indicated that the dangers of passive smoking are more harmful than was previously thought. Workers have the right to carry out their work without worrying whether they are breathing in carcinogenic second-hand smoke, and I believe that the Scottish Executive has shown the way forward on this issue with its complete ban on smoking in the workplace.

“In Northern Ireland, we have a high rate of heart disease and cancer, and smoking is a contributing factor towards this. Yet while the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain are moving forward, little has been done here, where the need for a ban is greatest.

“I would even go further than Health Secretary John Reid, who I remember puffing his way through the smog of the Hillsborough talks as NI Secretary of State, and extend the ban to all private clubs and pubs which do not serve prepared food. As an ex-smoker, I wouldn’t want him to be tempted back to the evil weed.

“Perhaps he’s Benson and Hedging his bets about quitting.”

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