Friday 15 November 2019

Praise for the smoking ban on its 10th birthday

There are now 1.9 million fewer smokers in the UK since 2007.

(Jonathan Brady/PA)
(Jonathan Brady/PA)

By Prudence Wade

Health campaigners are celebrating the 10th anniversary of smoke-free legislation in England, saying it has had one of the biggest impacts on public health over the last decade.

Laws banning smoking in virtually all enclosed public places in England – including offices, warehouses, factories, pubs, restaurants, railway stations, working vehicles and leisure centres – came into effect on July 1 2007, following Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Cancer Research UK said there were 1.9 million fewer smokers in Britain compared with when the smoking ban was introduced in 2007, with smoking rates now the lowest ever recorded.

The proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who smoke had fallen to 17% from 26% in 2007, a record low and the biggest drop among all age groups.

A poll of more than 4,300 people for the charity found that just 12% favoured reversing the laws.

This positivity towards the ban is echoed on Twitter.

Many can’t believe that it’s been 10 years since the ban was introduced – it feels like a lifetime ago!

Legislation surrounding smoking is still evolving, the latest change being the introduction of standardised green packaging on cigarettes coming into full effect last May.

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