Een belangrijk conservatief lid van het Schotse parlement heeft de minister van Volksgezondheid uitgedaagd om met namen en adressen te komen van mensen die bewijsbaar door omgevingsrook zijn overleden. Als hij dat niet kan, moet hij toegeven dat meeroken niet dodelijk is.
Zowel de minister als leden van de labour partij en de vakbonden vallen nu over hem heen. Het is onkies om dit nog in twijfel te trekken, vinden zij.
A TOP Tory has challenged Jack McConnell to produce the death certificates of victims of passive smoking … or admit it does not kill.
Opposition politicians immediately condemned the Conservatives as the “pariahs” of the Scottish parliament who were insulting the memory of those who had died because of environmental tobacco smoke.
The shock ultimatum has been issued by Brian Monteith MSP in an article in today’s Sunday Herald, published two weeks after the First Minister said a ban on smoking in public places would save lives. The Tory finance spokesman believes passive smoking has not killed a single Scot.
Monteith, widely seen as standard bearer of the party right wing, was immediately accused of over stepping the boundaries of “decency and taste” by opposition politicians.
Ministers backed a full ban on the grounds it would cut deaths caused by passive smoking. In a paper put to the Cabinet earlier this month, the Executive accepted research that concluded that environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) led to 865 deaths in Scotland every year. Seventy deaths were thought to be traceable to passive smoking in public places.
The data, prepared by Professor David Hole at Glasgow University, found that 75% of ETS-related fatalities occurred among women and that a ban would reduce the number of passive smoking deaths.
McConnell cited the figures as evidence that a ban could turn round Scotland’s reputation as the “sick man” of Europe .
But writing in the Sunday Herald, Monteith says his party is unconvinced anyone in Scotland dies from inhaling other people’s smoke. “Central to the Executive’s argument is the received wisdom that passive smoking kills people. This needs to be challenged,” he says. “The fact is there is absolutely no conclusive scientific evidence that passive smoking has ever killed anyone in Scotland.
He adds that McConnell was backing a ban based on flawed statistics. “As for the document presented to Cabinet claiming that 865 deaths are caused each year by passive smoking, it is conjecture presented as fact.”