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A New ‘Smoke Free Mann Directory’: ‘The essential guide to smoke-free eating and drinking out in the Isle of Man’ 5 August 2005

    Smoke Free Mann has launched a new Directory packed with great restaurants, cafés and pubs on the island that offer smoke-free spaces. The glossy directory is free, and contains advertising for businesses who have signed up to the scheme, in recognition of their efforts to protect their staff and customers from the dangers of second-hand smoke. The directory lists 57 establishments that have received an award based on their smoke-free status, ranging from ‘Platinum’ for the 32 totally smoke-free places, to ‘Bronze’ for those with a smoke-free area. Three thousand copies of the directory will be distributed widely around the Island, to venues including GP and Dental Surgeries, Pharmacies, Libraries, Bookshops and Post Offices. The directory will be of particular interest to those who are bothered by smoking inside public places, are asthmatic, pregnant, trying to stop smoking, or just generally concerned about health and second-hand smoke.

    Smoke Free Mann was launched last year by the Department of Health and Social Security’s Public Health Directorate in partnership with Department of Local Government and the Environment’s Environment, Safety and Health Directorate, with the aim of encouraging more smoke-free areas in the hospitality industry. Many customers leave or avoid going to places that serve food or drink because of tobacco smoke. However, second-hand smoke causes more than just discomfort. The latest evidence shows that just 30 minutes in a smoky room can reduce blood flow to your heart and increase your risk of heart attack. Second-hand smoke has been proven to cause lung cancer, heart disease and increase the risk of stroke. It can also make chest problems and allergies like asthma, hay fever, bronchitis and emphysema worse.

    The Department of Health and Social Security Public Health Directorate and the Environment, Safety and Health Directorate are delighted that so many businesses on the Island are considering the health and safety of their staff by voluntarily adopting smoke-free policies.

    Steve Rodan MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security stated: ‘I am delighted that we are recognising and promoting those organisations that are supporting the idea of a ‘Smoke Free Mann.’ Improving and protecting the health of the people of the Island at all times, including leisure and recreation, is central to the aims and objectives of the DHSS. The directory is a great example to show how committed we are to achieving this aim.’

    John Rimington MHK, Minister for Local Government and the Environment stated: ‘This initiative is not about whether people smoke, but about where people smoke. In particular, there are many environments where smoking is detrimental to the health of others and to their enjoyment of their leisure and recreation. All venues which serve food should be encouraged to be smoke-free or, at the very least, provide a major part of the eating area to be smoke-free. Likewise, I would wish this same principle to be adopted throughout our leisure and recreation facilities. In addition to the health benefits, businesses going smoke free also have added benefits of lower fire risk, reduced insurance and less cleaning, maintenance and decoration costs’.

    In addition to promoting establishments that voluntarily develop smoke-free areas, Smoke Free Mann also provides information about the effects of second-hand smoke, the support available to people wanting to stop smoking, and how to develop workplace no smoking policies.

    For a free copy of the Smoke Free Mann Directory, contact Health Promotion on 642592.

    5th August 2005

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