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Breathe more easily

July 1, 2007 1:00 AM

DELGA have welcomed the extension of the smoking ban to England - which comes into force today - for the positive impact it will have for the LGBT communities.

Research shows lesbian and gay people are more likely to smoke than the wider population, and while there is not equivalent research for bi and trans people it is a fair assumption that the statistics will be similar. As well as the effects on smokers' own health, this means non-smoking LGBT people are likely to suffer the effects of passive smoking when in gay venues. The ban will both help to improve the health of the LGBT communities, and make gay and gay-friendly spaces more accessible to non-smokers and those who have problems breathing in smoky atmospheres.

The ban on smoking indoors has already been put into place at some LGBT venues and at events such as BiCon, where it has been overwhelmingly welcomed.

While the pro-smoking lobby argue that a mixture of smoking and non-smoking venues would allow customers to make their own choice, in most parts of the country there just aren't enough gay and gay-friendly spaces for that to be a realistic choice.