More people are trying to quit smoking, the air in pubs and bars is cleaner and rates of compliance with smoke-free laws remain high, according to a new survey looking at the first year of smoke-free England.
The report "Smokefree England: One Year On" summarises key findings from businesses, health workers and the public regarding the Smokefree legislation which was introduced one year ago today.
The key findings are:
The smoke-free legislation has been a big success and changed lives – including healthier environments for people whose jobs exposed them to secondhand smoke
76% of people and 55% of smokers report that they support the law.
Exposure for bar workers to hazardous secondhand smoke has been reduced by 76%. Prior to smoke-free legislation, nonsmoking bar workers were found to be inhaling up to six times as much cigarette smoke as the average nonsmoker.
Compliance rates are high: 98% of all premises and vehicles inspected were smoke-free in accordance with the law.
The smoke-free law has created a more supportive environment to help smokers quit the habit with a 22% increase in the number of people quitting with local NHS Stop Smoking Services compared to the same period in 2006/07 between April and December last year.
Minister for Public Health, Dawn Primarolo said:
"We introduced this law one year ago to cut people's exposure to secondhand smoke. It's clear the law is working. Bar workers are inhaling far less smoke and most people think the law has had a positive effect on the country's health.
"This could not have been done without the tireless work and support of local authorities, business and health campaigners. I also commend smokers themselves for their willingness to protect the health of others by so readily complying with the law".
"I have never smoked and find the habit quite repulsive. I am still being passively affected by smoking patients almost every day, from the odour from their clothing as well as those members of the community who like myself use public transport. I wish the ban could be extended further, with the only exception being the individual's own home." - V Henry, N15
"The local pubs and bingo halls have closed, but as one whiff of cigarette smoke can kill I suppose it's for my benefit that I stay in every night." - D Williams, Wales