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Bosses urged to ban smoking

Date 6 Oct 2006

Employers in England are being urged to immediately ban smoking in their workplaces. The TUC believes employers should already be thinking about protecting their staff by outlawing cigarettes now, in anticipation of the nationwide ban next year.

From summer 2007, the vast majority of workplaces in England will be required by law to be smoke-free. To encourage more employers to act early, the TUC has published ‘Negotiating smoke-free workplaces'. The guide suggests that every workplace should draw up a smoking policy in consultation with staff

Around 700 workers die every year through passive smoke in the workplace, according to the TUC. Most workers are already employed in factories, shops, and offices that are free from smoke, but there are still many workplaces where smoking is allowed somewhere on the premises.

Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC, said: "For every month that employers wait to introduce a ban more employees will die or become seriously ill as a result of second-hand smoke at work. "There is no sensible reason why employers can't be sitting down with staff now to talk about how the ban will happen and how to make every workplace a safer, healthier place to be.'

Smoking has already been banned in Scottish workplaces, and Wales is expected to enforce a ban in the spring.

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