The BMA today (26/05/05) welcomed yesterday's Welsh Assembly vote to ban smoking in enclosed public places, and calls on the Westminster parliament to follow suit.

Dr Vivienne Nathanson, Head of Science and Ethics at the BMA, said:

"The Welsh Assembly, like the Scottish Executive, has shown itself to be unafraid to take on the tobacco industry where the health of its nation is at stake.

"The Westminster parliament must not ignore the wishes of the Welsh people. The new Health Improvement and Protection Bill must reflect their vote.

"And it will be nothing short of reckless if the Health Secretary continues to expose those in England to the deadly consequences of second-hand smoke.

"Every year over 11,300 people in the UK face death from breathing in other people's smoke.*

"This is utterly unacceptable. We call on the new Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt to make sure there are no more half measures ? ban smoking in all enclosed public places and save lives."

*11,302 deaths per year across the UK attributable to passive smoke; see BMJ, April 2005, Vol: 330, p.812

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