Douglas Alexander announces consultation on smoking restrictions on vessels

Douglas Alexander today launched a consultation on smoking restrictions to be introduced on sea-going and inland waterway vessels operating in UK waters.

Douglas Alexander said:

"The Government announced last year that restrictions on smoking in enclosed workplaces, public places and vehicles would be introduced in England from July. This will save thousands of lives over the next decade by reducing both exposure to hazardous second-hand smoke and overall smoking rates.

"We now intend to introduce similar provisions to provide protection from second-hand smoke for people on vessels operating in UK waters, both at sea and on inland waterways."

The consultation paper asks for comments from stakeholders and others on how the provisions should be introduced and enforced. Among the questions it asks are:

- Should smoke free provisions be applied to all sea-going and inland waterway vessels carrying at least one passenger and to ships which, whilst carrying no passengers, are crewed by seafarers employed under a contract of employment?

- How should the smoke free provisions be enforced, and do you agree that the MCA should be the enforcement authority?

- Is it appropriate that the scale of penalties for offences relating to the smoke free provisions on sea-going and inland waterway vessels should be the same as those under the Health Act in England?