Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of Action on Smoking and Health has said it is “unreasonable” to stop people from smoking in their own homes, but more has to be done to reduce smoking in social housing and privately-rented properties.
A report by Action on Smoking and Health and two All Party Parliamentary Groups found that smoking is “highly concentrated” on council estates, with a suggestion that new social housing could be designated smoke-free.
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Ms Arnott stressed that this was not suggesting that people should be stopped from smoking in their own homes.
She told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “It makes a good headline but the report does not actually say that people should be stopped from smoking. That would be completely unreasonable.”
“We are not suggesting that people should be stopped from smoking in their own homes,” she added.
“But, when the ban on smoking in public places came in we saw a decline in the number of people smoking in the home.
“Because, if it is dangerous to smoke in front of your workmates, why are going to smoke in front of your family?
“So there is much less smoking in the home than there used to be but it still happens.
“We need to do more to remind people why it is not a good idea. But, we certainly do not want to ban it.”
'A lot of smokers would die'
Ms Arnott added that society cannot wait “until we got rid of poverty”.
“If we waited until we got rid of poverty, an awful lot of smokers would die in the meantime,” she said.
“Just because you are poor and disadvantaged, does not mean you don’t want to quit.
“It just means you are more heavily addicted so people need more help.
“That is why we want to target housing because the rates of smoking in social housing and private rented, as opposed to owner-occupied, are much higher.”