HC Deb 15 January 2003 vol 397 cc684-5W
John Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to discourage smoking in public places. [89056]

Ms Blears

The Government have no plans to implement a ban on smoking in public places.

This year the Department is funding local tobacco control alliances across England to carry out projects in close co-operation with local employers to tackle passive smoking and to increase the number of smoke-free environments. These projects vary in nature from the production of 'smoke free' guides to pubs and restaurants to the provision of advice and support to managers wishing to introduce policies. We hope that many will be suitable for national application.

We will also be increasing the visibility of health messages highlighting to smokers the risks environmental tobacco smoke presents. This is through regulations to transpose into United Kingdom law the EU Directive on the Manufacture, Presentation and Sale of Tobacco Products. These regulations require tobacco products to carry larger and starker health warnings, on both the front and back of the packet. The dangers of passive smoking are highlighted in two of the new warnings, which include "Smoking Seriously Harms You and Others Around You" and "Protect Children: Don't Make Them Breathe Your Smoke".