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Marine Log

February 14, 2007

Britain plans to ban smoking on ships

The British Government is planning to ban smoking on sea-going and inland waterway vessels operating in U.K. waters, regardless of flag.

The Department for Transport today issued a consultation document outlining the proposed restrictions.

"The Government announced last year that restrictions on smoking in enclosed workplaces, public places and vehicles would be introduced in England from July," said Secretary of State for Transport Douglas Alexander. "This will save thousands of lives over the next decade by reducing both exposure to hazardous second-hand smoke and overall smoking rates."

"We now intend to introduce similar provisions to provide protection from second-hand smoke for people on vessels operating in UK waters, both at sea and on inland waterways," he continued.

The consultation paper asks for comments from stakeholders and others on how the provisions should be introduced and enforced. Among the questions it asks are:

  • Should smoke free provisions be applied to all sea-going and inland waterway vessels carrying at least one passenger and to ships which, whilst carrying no passengers, are crewed by seafarers employed under a contract of employment?

  • How should the smoke free provisions be enforced, and should the Marine and Coastguard Agency be the enforcement authority?

  • Is it appropriate that the scale of penalties for offenses relating to the smoke free provisions on sea-going and inland waterway vessels should be the same as those under the Health Act in England?

The consultation will close on May 11, 2007