The Alliance Party has welcomed the level of fines proposed in draft legislation for those disobeying the anti smoking legislation. The draft legislation proposes fines of up to £2500 for proprietors of premises who fail to prevent customers smoking and another fine of up to £1000 for those who do not display no smoking signs.
Alliance Newtownabbey Cllr Tom Campbell said: “If this legislation is to work it has to have teeth. The best way to ensure complete compliance with the smoking legislation is to hit those who permit smoking in their premises hard. This has worked extremely effectively in the Republic and in the United States. The experience with other legislation is that if the level of fines is modest the law will be sidelined or ignored. In addition there is the moral pressure on a smoker in knowing that their actions can have serious consequences for those in whose premises they are smoking.”
“Concerns that enforcement powers would be weak or ineffective have been misplaced. Given the proven risks to health as a result of passive smoking the Government is clearly here in Northern Ireland at least prepared to introduce and enforce the necessary legislation to tackle this very serious problem.”
Editorial: The draft legislation has been published today by the Government with a view to the introduction of smoke free work areas and enclosed public places commencing in April 2007.