Peers attack public smoking ban

Peers attack public smoking ban
A ban on smoking in public places is not justified by the risks to health from passive smoking, a committee of peers has said.

Its report calls on ministers to pay more attention to the risks to personal liberty posed by new legislation.

Singling out the public smoking ban, it argues that the aims of the legislation have not been made clear.

The report says that greater attention should have been given to scientific evidence, which it says suggests that passive smoking in public places is a relatively minor problem compared with passive smoking in the home.

The committee concludes that: "Failure to consider these matters properly has resulted in the introduction of a policy that appears to demonstrate a disproportionate response to the problem."

"We are also concerned that the government does not pay enough attention to the cumulative impact of legislation on personal freedom and choice."

Simon Clark, of the smoker’s lobby group Forest, said MPs had been hoodwinked by exaggerated claims about the effects of passive smoking.

He said: "The threat of passive smoking is based on extremely dubious estimates, calculations and guesswork.

"The evidence is highly subjective and doesn’t stand up to close scrutiny.

"If there is a risk it is very small and it certainly doesn’t justify a ban on smoking in every pub, club and restaurant in the country."

Published in: on June 7, 2006 at 11:38 am  Leave a Comment  

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