Ruth Mitchell

Metro Radio Arena Goes Smoke-Free

Metro Radio Arena - the North East’s largest concert and exhibition venue - has introduced a total smoking ban ahead of any Government legislation. 2006 will see all pop concerts, ice hockey matches, basketball games, exhibitions and conferences going smoke-free. The Arena’s first concert as a 100 per cent smoke free venue will be Katie Melua’s Piece by Piece tour on 23 January. The move is backed by Fresh, the Campaign for a Smoke Free North East.

Fresh Director, Ailsa Rutter, commented: “This is brilliant news. The fact that one of the regions most well known venues is committing itself to a smoke free policy ahead of the Government legislation set a good example of protecting the health of both visitors to the Arena and staff who work there. “In the North East alone, 35 workers die annually from exposure to second hand smoke and we want businesses to take on board what staff and members of the public want and ensure they have a smoke free policy. We see smoke-free environments as the norm.”

Recent estimates suggest that well over 10,000 people die each year from exposure to second hand smoke in the UK. In the North East, second-hand smoke exposure kills about 200 people under 65 every year. It increases the risk of lung cancer in adults by 24% and the risk of coronary heart disease by 25%.

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