§ Mr. Amos
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) if he will make a statement on the progress in implementing a smoke-free policy throughout his Department;
(2) if he will make it his policy to ensure that every non-smoking employee in his Department has the right to work in a smoke-free area; and if he will make a statement.
§ Dr. Mawhinney
Since the introduction in October 1987 of a formal policy on smoking in the Northern Ireland civil service, smoking has been specifically prohibited in:
- (a) conference rooms when used for meetings of civil servants;
- (b) training rooms;
- (c) lifts;
- (d) official cars;
- (e) kitchens, other cooking facilities and mess rooms, and food stores;
- (f) public counters and security/reception points.
The introduction of further prohibitions is a matter for local management, the staff and the local trade union side, usually after an attitude survey has been conducted. To date over 300 attitude surveys have been undertaken, resulting in partial or total restrictions. Where total restrictions are in force smoking rooms have been provided for those who choose to continue to smoke.
Management in the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) also endorse the ideal of non-smoking as a safeguard to health. The introduction of a non-smoking policy is being actively pursued in the Northern Ireland Office in Belfast and is under review for the London office.