Bar, casino and nightclub workers are being urged to protect their future by signing up to a Passive Smoking Register.

Union GMB Northern and Thompsons Solicitors' North East Offices are preparing the register following fears hundreds of North East employees have been affected by passive smoking.

Now they are calling for those working in smoky environments to sign the register.

It will enable those who go on to develop lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases to try to claim compensation for their hardship in the future.

Every year 200 people in the North East alone die of smoking-related diseases. Up to 35 are people who have been exposed to second hand smoke at work.

Already 45 people from across the North East have signed the register including employees working in well known bars, nightclubs and casinos in the region.

Asbestos Register

The scheme mirrors a similar register set up by the GMB and Thompsons for those who were exposed to asbestos at work. Thousands of workers in the region were exposed to the deadly dust in the shipyards and factories.

Now more than 6,000 people in the northern region alone are signed up to the register. Many have already claimed compensation after being diagnosed with diseases like mesotheliomaand asbestosis.

GMB organiser Joan Anderson said: “The Passive Smoking Register highlights the growing concern for the side effects of being in smoky environments. In the northern region some of our most vulnerable workers are being exposed to second hand smoke during their employment.

“I would urge people working in smoky environments to sign up to this register as soon as possible.”

Philip Ballard, partner at Thompsons Solicitors said: “It is important those working in smoky environments sign up to this register. This could help them claim a compensation payout in the future if they ever develop a smoking-related disease.“

For more information about the Passive Smoking Register contact Joan Anderson on 0191 2333930.

In the past Thompsons have published other News Stories relating to Smoking in the Workplace.  To read these visit "Shambolic smoking ban won’t prevent litigation, lawyers warn" and "Smoking bans a red herring, leading law firm warns" and "Thompsons urges staff to support ASH petition".