Written Answers - Smoking Ban.

Denis Naughten

Question:

213 Mr. Naughten asked the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism if his Department has assessed the possible impact on the tourism sector should the new law on smoking in public houses be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8681/03]

I am advised by the Department of Health and Children that a prohibition on smoking in all places of work, including licensed premises, is being introduced from 1 January 2004. The primary purpose of the prohibition is to protect the health and safety of workers and the public from toxic environmental tobacco smoke. This prohibition is based on recommendations contained in the Report on the Health Effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke in the Workplace, prepared by an independent scientific working group commissioned by the Office of Tobacco Control and the Health and Safety Authority. It was published on 30 January 2003. There has been no formal assessment of the impact of the ban on the tourism sector.