Rosie Cooper MP

Working hard for the people of West Lancashire

15/02/06 Rosie Cooper MP hails smoking ban as historic

Rosie Cooper, Labour MP for West Lancashire, today hailed the decision to ban smoking in all enclosed public places as the greatest health decision since the creation of the National Health Service. The Health Bill will mean significantly improved health for the public and ensure greater protection for those people working in the thousands of bars, pubs and restaurants across the UK.

Rosie Cooper has been an advocate of smoke-free legislation for many years, including a period as a trustee of the Roy Castle Foundation.

Rosie Cooper MP said:

“I truly believe that history will judge the decision taken by MPs as one of the most progressive decisions on the health of the nation for the past 50 years. Not since the creation of the National Health Service has there been legislation that will fundamentally benefit the nation as a whole, both smokers and non-smokers.”

“One in two smokers will die of a smoking related cause and 600 people like Roy Castle who have never smoked die each year from the effects of passive smoking. In 1992, I introduced Roy Castle to the Moores family (Littlewoods) who then generously supported the Roy Castle Foundation. This led to the building of the only Lung Cancer Research centre in the world of which I became a Trustee.

Personally, I voted in favour of a total ban for a variety of reasons both personal and practical. My mother was a lifelong smoker who died at only 62 from emphysema. A tragic loss, which had a devastating effect on my family. She had repeatedly tried and failed to stop smoking but in those days there was no smoking cessation help, which is readily available today.”

I am delighted my Parliamentary colleagues voted in favour of a total ban. The arguments in favour of a total ban were too great for me to ignore. Every year 106,100 people year from smoking related diseases, premature deaths affecting so many families and costing the NHS £1.5 billion. Smoking is the greatest preventable cause of illness, disability and premature death.”

“That is why I am so proud that I was able to help in a small way to bring about what I believe to be a historic piece of health legislation that will prove beneficial to so many individuals and families in the future.”

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