London,
09
July
2009
|
00:00
Europe/London

Keeping Hackney smokefree – two years on

This month sees the second anniversary of the smokefree legislation which makes it illegal to smoke in workplaces and most public places. However, the Council is concerned that some small unlicensed clubs, such as Turkish social clubs and football clubs, are not aware that the legislation applies to them.

The law was introduced in July 2007 to protect the public from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, which research has shown increases the risks of lung cancer, heart disease, asthma attacks and childhood respiratory disease.

The vast majority of businesses do comply with the law. Where smoking is taking place, advice from the Council s environmental health officers is usually enough for the premises to put things right. The Council has only had to bring one prosecution since the legislation was introduced, of a Turkish social club in Morning Lane E8.

Staff carry out routine visits to premises and respond to complaints from the public. Any business found to be breaking the law and ignoring warnings from the Council faces a fixed penalty notice - from £150 for failing to display a ‘no smoking sign’ to £2500 for premises which fail to prevent smoking in an area governed by the law.

Cllr Nargis Khan, Hackney’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The law is there to protect people and businesses that don’t comply may be prosecuted.”

Businesses can get advice and further information about the law from the government’s Smokefree website, www.smokefreeengland.co.uk or contact Victoria Honeyghan in the Council’s Environmental Health team on 0208 356 4905, email Victoria.honeyghan@hackney.gov.uk.

Help is also available for anybody wishing to quit smoking at NHS City & Hackney Stop Smoking Services on 0800 169 1943. The Turkish speaking stop smoking counsellor Sabas Kirit, based at the Halkevi community centre in Downham Rd, can be contacted on 020 7249 6980.