Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson John McCallister has welcomed the Health Minister’s announcement of the Tobacco Strategy which continues the work begun several years ago by the Ulster Unionist Health Minister Michael McGimpsey.
The South Down MLA said:
“Today’s announcement of the ten year “Tobacco Strategy” is the continuation of the process set in train by the Ulster Unionist Party when Michael McGimpsey was the Minister for Health.
When it comes to measures to reduce levels of smoking in our society and to improve the health and well-being of our people, the Ulster Unionist Party can boast a proud record.
In 2008 Michael McGimpsey outlined his aim to create a tobacco-free society and introduce smoke-free legislation to enable children to grow up in a society free of being bombarded with people smoking around them in enclosed public places, making it less likely for them to take up the habit.
The Ulster Unionist Party delivered education and public information campaigns on the dangers of smoking will also continue and made almost £9 million available from 2008, for tobacco control initiatives, including major information campaigns and smoking cessation services.
Last November I introduced a motion in the Assembly to ban smoking in cars carrying children. My motion received widespread support and I welcome the fact that it has been adopted by the Health Minister to the extent that he has promised a consultation on the issue. Today I reaffirm the pledge during the debate in November, that if the Health Minister does not introduce legislation to outlaw this practice, I shall introduce a private member’s bill to do so.”