Wales CMO warns against smoking at home
The chief medical officer for Wales, Dr Tony Jewell, has called on ministers to consider legislation or other measures to prevent smoking in homes with children present.
But CIEH Wales director Julie Barratt warned attempts to legislate would be ‘deeply, deeply despised’.
She said: ‘I certainly would not want a position where EHOs would be trying to get into people's houses to control the way they behave.’
In his annual report Dr Jewell said: ‘I am pleased to note the commitment made in 2011 to address the issue of smoking in cars where children are present, however, I think we need to go further and introduce legislation on this issue and consider children’s rights in the home too.
‘This should be seen in the context of the benefit of an overarching Public Health (Wales) Bill, which will be consulted on in 2012.
‘Children’s rights to breathe clean air apply at home too, so attention to this risk should also be included in our future campaigns.’
His report showed a reduction in the percentage of adult smoking, but revealed a ‘clear association’ with deprivation. The highest smoking percentages were found in the most deprived areas.
Dr Jewell said: ‘It is of particular concern that smoking rates amongst young people, although reducing, are still higher for 15-year-old girls than in other countries of the UK.’
It was also revealed more than half of people in Wales are obese or overweight. Dr Jewell said Wales should consider a ban on ‘super-sized’ soft drinks and also questioned fast food companies sponsoring sporting events such as the Olympics.
He said: ‘As McDonald’s prepare to open its largest restaurant in the world in the heart of the Olympic Park and sponsors Coca-Cola ramp up their advertising campaigns, I want us to consider the links between sports events, brands that promote fast food and drink, and our eating habits.
‘Stating clearly that fast food has no place in sport sends a clear message.’