COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: ASH wins backing from MPs to outlaw smoking in offices

An anti-smoking charity with a turnover of £400,000 is on the verge of striking another blow against the multi-billion pound tobacco industry.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has secured the support of more than 100 MPs for a proposed Bill to ban smoking in the workplace. The Bill also makes local authorities the legislator on smoking in licensed premises, leaving them free to champion smoke-free eating and drinking.

ASH's director Clive Bates said: "The chief executive of British American Tobacco is paid more than our entire budget so it's a real David and Goliath battle but with powerful allies such as BMA that means we can square up to them.

"They just can't go on ignoring a source of cancer and heart disease in the workplace as if it is some trivial annoyance."

On November 21, a private members ballot will take place in the House of Commons with the selected MPs free to raise a topic of their choice.

If a pro-ASH MP is balloted, it could lead to exposure for the charity.

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