Those wishing to submit comment on the Department of Health’s smokefree legislation public consultation have less than two weeks to make their submissions. The consultation, which launched on 23 October and has seen over 250 responses to date, comes to a close on Friday, 7 December.
The consultation takes the form of a questionnaire and seeks the public’s feedback and views on a range of potential areas to strengthen smokefree legislation, such as banning smoking in cars carrying children aged under-16, banning tobacco vending machines, and controlling tobacco point of sale displays.
Dr Paul Emerson, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, said:
'The primary focus of any additional legislation will likely focus on strengthening protection for young people to help further limit their exposure to secondhand smoke and their exposure to tobacco point of sale displays. Despite our efforts, it is clearly still too easy for young people to obtain cigarettes and tobacco. The fact remains that smoking is seriously hazardous to health, but particularly so in young people, where immune systems are still developing and where they’re often not in a position or able to request that smoking doesn’t happen around them. There are a range of measures we wish to consider, and the public’s opinions will help guide us through the policymaking process. I’d encourage everyone – whether they’re in favour of further controls, or against them – to have their say.'
The questionnaire can be completed online. Copies of the consultation document are available online, and stock permitting, should also be available from local Commissioners’ offices, libraries, GP Surgeries, Dental Practices, Opticians, the Tynwald Library, Post Office counters, and the Welcome Centre. Those who would like a copy can contact the Department by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +44 1624 685004.