Leaders of England’s taxi drivers are welcoming the complete ban on smoking in taxis and private hire vehicles which comes into effect at the end of this month.
“For some years we have promoted the right of drivers to ban smoking in their taxis, and the new law will end any confusion on the issue,” said taxi driver Jim Kelly, who chairs the Cab Trade Committee of the T&G Section of Unite – the union. “For us, this is primarily a workplace health issue. Like other workers, taxi drivers are entitled to do their job without being at risk of cancer and other deadly diseases from cigarette smoke.
“No-one would expect to be able to blow smoke over a factory or office worker while they are at their posts. Now taxi drivers, together with bar staff and others still at risk from cigarette smoke, will get the same protection and consideration as the rest of the working population.
“I have just returned from Dublin, where I found that the well-established ban on smoking in taxis there has not caused any real problem. Of course, it needed a culture shift for passengers, and for some drivers, too. But the overall effects, and the health benefits, make that worthwhile.
“I hope the next generation of taxi drivers will wonder how we ever tolerated smoking in our vehicles, and this measure could mean a lot more of our members will still be around to answer that question.”
From July, legislation will make it illegal in England to smoke in virtually all enclosed public places, workplaces and public and work vehicles, including public transport and buildings associated with public transport. The new legislation will mean smoking in all taxis and private hire vehicles will be illegal. Previously, drivers could decide whether or not to allow passengers to smoke in their vehicles.
Smoking is one of the leading causes of statistics. Remember never test the depth of the water with both feet.