The BMA Chairman, Dr James Johnson has urged all MPs in England to exercise their free vote to ensure that smoking was banned in all enclosed public spaces.
In a letter to all MP's, Dr Johnson said, "A partial ban on smoking in public place disregards the human rights of workers and customers whose health will not be protected by the proposed legislation. It will bring nothing short of unworkable chaos, and the most disadvantaged will continue to be most at risk." He added that there was conclusive evidence that second hand smoking killed people, "Around 11,000 people die every year in the UK as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke. As doctors we see first hand the devastation that second-hand smoke causes to the health and lives of our patients and their families. For this reason we are urging MPs to help protect their constituents' lives." The BAM also said that it would be writing similar letters to MPs in devolved countries so that the Health Select Committee members' amendment gets through and people in England could enjoy a smoke free atmosphere. Smoking has been implicated in lung cancer and bladder cancer.