Passive smoking kills one worker each year
SMOKERS kill a worker a year in Guernsey
Lung cancer caused by passive smoking at work is responsible for one death here annually.
The islandâ€™s consultant respiratory physician, Wasif Anees, believes that the latest data highlights just how dangerous passive smoking is.
He is among the local medical experts who have already backed proposals to ban smoking in enclosed public places and workplaces.
The Medical Specialist Group, where Dr Anees works, wrote to Health and Social Services minister Peter Roffey to say that the majority of doctors strongly supported the intent of and recommendations in the departmentâ€™s report.
Local British Medical Association president Dr Maggie Costen said in a letter to Deputy Roffey that the executive committee supported his departmentâ€™s recommendations.
She added that access to nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion and/or one-to-one or group counselling should be made as freely available as possible.
The Home Department has also backed the measures but did raise concerns over cost implications.
â€˜There was no mention of the potential increase in service demand on local smoking-cessation services, Quitline or Gasp, or any provision of extra funding to address such an increase,â€™ wrote Home minister Mike Torode.
â€˜Evidence from other administrations who have implemented similar proposals has resulted in increased uptake in smoking cessation services with a contemporaneous increase in government funding.â€™
The Culture and Leisure Department also supports Healthâ€™s proposals â€“ with the exception of Commerce and Employment deputy minister Carla McNulty Bauer.
Culture and Leisure minister Peter Sirett said that the cafe and bar area of Beau Sejour has been non-smoking since June 2003.
â€˜There has been no loss of income or custom as a result,â€™ he said.
â€˜We, however, receive a small number of complaints from disgruntled customers, but most of our patrons seem to have accepted the situation.
â€˜The museums introduced a similar ban a number of years ago and subsequently they have not received any complaints.â€™
Guernsey Adolescent Smoke-free Project chairman Alun Williams said that it supported the proposals.
He was, though, disappointed that the report did not show the progress already made in tackling smoking.
â€˜The report is modest in reporting the very real successes that Guernsey has had in reducing smoking, especially among its young people,â€™ said Mr Williams.
He said the island was a world leader in reducing tobacco use by young people, with initiatives heavily funded by Health.
Mr Williams said that if States members failed to reflect public opinion and ban smoking in enclosed public places, the momentum of the campaign against cigarette use could be lost.
He said a partial ban would send out the wrong message and be difficult to implement.
Breast cancer support group the Pink Ladies also backed the total ban.