The BMA in Northern Ireland has written to all NI MLAs, urging them to vote against a proposed amendment to permit smoking when the artistic integrity of a performance calls for it.
The Northern Ireland Assembly today (Tuesday 5 June 2007), tabled the Health (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which contains an amendment to recent smoking legislation. This amendment would permit actors to smoke where the artistic integrity of the performance makes it appropriate for them to do so.
BMA(NI) Chairman, Dr Brian Patterson, commenting after this morning's Assembly business, said: "We are very concerned that the smoking ban legislation will be diluted if this amendment is adopted during the reading of this Bill.
"The BMA in its response to the consultation on the Draft Smoke-Free Regulations earlier this year strongly objected to this proposed amendment on the grounds that artistic integrity of a performance is not a valid argument to allow smoking when the whole basis of the smoking legislation is to protect the public and all workers from the dangers of passive smoking.
"We are urging politicians to throw out this amendment at the very early stages of the Bill's progress through the Assembly."