World No Tobacco Day - 100% Smokefree Environments
Tuesday 1st May, 2007
This year on the 31st of May the focus of World No Tobacco Day is on 100% SMOKEFREE ENVIRONMENTS. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has organised the event to highlight entirely smokefree enclosed spaces as the only effective measure to protect the public – including children and people at their workplaces – from exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke.
There is now only one month to go before England becomes smokefree. From 1st July 2007, England will join other countries around the world, including Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Canada, and New Zealand, in implementing smokefree legislation. The WHO provides indisputable independent scientific evidence to show that breathing second-hand tobacco smoke is very dangerous to your health. It causes cancer, as well as many serious respiratory and cardiovascular diseases in children and adults, and there is no safe level of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke. World No Tobacco Day is an opportunity to remind ourselves of some of the facts:
• 100% smokefree environments fully protect workers and the public from the serious harmful effects of tobacco smoke
• Clean air, free from tobacco smoke, is a human right
• Smokefree environments help prevent people – especially the young – from starting to smoke.
• Smokefree environments cost little and they work – levels of compliance can be close to 100% with minimal enforcement mechanisms in place
Debra Balfour of the West Sussex Tobacco Alliance and manager of the West Sussex NHS Stop Smoking Service, said:
"Smokefree environments are not only good for people’s health, but can be good for business. Families with children, most non-smokers and even smokers, often prefer to socialise in smokefree places. The introduction of this legislation on July 1st is widely supported by smokers and non-smokers alike, and it is worth remembering that most people in England do not smoke. In West Sussex around 24% of the population are smokers, with the majority of these saying they would like to stop.
"To help smokers who wish to stop the NHS provides free advice and support from trained advisors, with Nicotine Replacement Therapy and other stop smoking aids on prescription when required. Together with support from an advisor, the smokefree legislation will create environments that can help smokers to stop and stay stopped. To find details of their nearest Stop Smoking Advisor, people can call the West Sussex Helpline on 01903 708000."
The WHO are focusing on 100% smokefree environments because they are the only answer to protect the health of all people. Neither ventilation nor filtration can reduce tobacco smoke exposure indoors to levels that are considered acceptable in terms of health effects. The new legislation in England will cover virtually all enclosed and substantially enclosed public places and workplaces, including shops, offices, factories, pubs, restaurants, public transport, and work vehicles that are used by more than one person. Indoor workplace smoking rooms will also disappear so anyone wishing to smoke will have to go outside instead. Only 100% smokefree environments provide effective protection.