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BMA demands ban on smoking in enclosed workplaces in the United Kingdom

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7457.70-b (Published 08 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:70
  1. Annabel Ferriman
  1. BMJ

    BMA representatives this week delivered 4500 members' letters and a letter from its chairman, Jim Johnson, to the Prime Minister Tony Blair, demanding that the government ban smoking in enclosed workplaces.

    The chairman's letter, which was delivered by Dr Sam Everington (above right), the BMA's deputy chairman, and Dr Peter Maguire, deputy chairman of the Board of Science (above left), pointed out that less than 1% of pubs in the United Kingdom are smoke-free. People in lower socioeconomic groups and workers in the hospitality industry were disproportionately exposed to other people's smoke and therefore to the risk of lung cancer.

    Mr Johnson wrote: “You will know that I am a vascular surgeon working in one of the most deprived areas of the country. I regularly have to amputate the legs of chronic smokers—and they are not generally from social classes ABC1.”

    Delivery of the letter followed a resolution at last week's annual meeting of the BMA, which congratulated the government of the Irish Republic for the leadership it had shown by banning smoking in enclosed workplaces by legislation and called on the BMA to lobby government for the immediate introduction of equivalent legislation.

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