This site is intended for health professionals only

Asthmatics benefiting from smoking ban

Most smokers in England have been respecting the new ban and not lighting up in public places, new research shows.

Asthma UK, Action on Smoking and Health and the British Thoracic Society teamed up to survey over 1500 adults in England this August.

They found that 97% of smokers have not lit up in a pub since July 1 and 86% said they have not seen anybody smoke in a bar since the law came into force.

Three quarters of adults said the new law has been good for their health.

Another 43% of asthmatics said they were less worried about having an asthma attack in an enclosed public space.

Half of the asthmatics surveyed say they feel more able to go out to pubs since England became smokefree.

Report author Martin Dockrell said: "As we expected, more people are going out to pubs and restaurants and many smokers are quitting. It's really encouraging to see almost all smokers respecting the law.

"However, some areas may be having particular difficulties and their enforcement officers will have to redouble their efforts. "

Neil Churchill, chief executive of Asthma UK, said: "Three months on from 1 July, people with asthma are already reaping the benefits of this law in terms of health and social lives.

"It seems smokers and nonsmokers are in agreement - smokefree law is good news for everyone."

Asthma UK
British Thoracic Society
Action on Smoking and Health

Do you agree that most people seem to have welcomed the smoking ban? Does it make a big difference for asthmatics? (Please supply your comment, name and location in the feedback box below. Your details will not be published if you so request.
Terms and conditions apply)

"Virtually my entire family works in health care, I do not agree that most people seem to have welcomed the smoking ban. In my experience, most people have found it instructive in that it has highlighted exactly how much access to legislative influence has been granted to those foam-flecked "social hygiene" cultists from ASH, et al, who appear infinitely more interested in foisting their own private agenda on government (and thereby, the public) than in what most people actually
want - Name and address supplied

"About 90 percent of people I have spoken to feel the ban on smoking is a bad thing for society. About 70 to 80 pecent of  those are non-smokers who never had a problem with Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS). Most of the time they socialised with their smoking friends in pubs, restaurants and cafes that permitted smoking. On the odd occasions they wanted to go out to a non smoking environment they could do so quite easily. In the town where I live in 80 per cent of the reataurants and cafes were non-smoking and half of the pubs had completely seperate smoking rooms which served all patrons well. Of the 10 percent that welcomed the ban they were roughly equally divided between those that wanted to go every where and for it to be non-smoking, basically saying that no one else should have have choice but theirs. The other half were smokers that were saying: "I want to give up smoking and the ban is making it much easier." The situation we now find ourselves in is one where smokers and their friends are outside workplaces during the day and social venues at night causing problems of litter, noise, blocking pavements and drinking outside" - Name and address supplied

"I run not only a respiratory clinic but also a smoking cessation clinic. While discussing triggers to smoking most people find socialising as a big trigger and have remarked that the smoking ban will help them in their attempts to break the habit of smoking in the pub.It seems that if you're trying to quit, the smoking ban is percieved as a good thing but if not then it's an infringement of your rights. My own family are all asthmatics and the local town centre is now a safer place for them as sidestream smoke was always one of their biggest triggers." - Lesley williamson, Northumberland

"Most people I have met are irritated by the loss of freedom or like myself resent it bitterly. I too am asthamatic, albeit mildly. Why is it that people who live in the country rarely suffer from it but seems to be problem of the city? It must be pollution as most people's exposure to ETS/SHS is minimal. Offices at best had a smoking room, all transport has been smoke-free for years and there were non-smoking rooms in pubs and restaurants for years. Surely as the professionals passive smoke is the least of asthamatics problems and all you people here should be trading your cars for cycles. Double standards?" - Name and address supplied

"I am a non smoker, and I welcome the ban. I agree that this has made a difference to asthmatics, especially in my work enviroment" - Dorothy Gordon, HM Holloway

"Personally, all I hear is from are people who are fed up with the ban. An asthmatic working with me hasn't given up, she just goes outside to smoke and our office is slap-bang in the middle of a town centre one-way system" - Martin, Malden Manor

"As someone with chronic severe asthma, tobacco smoke was never an irritant. Wood smoke from campgrounds however, has sent me to the emergency room gasping for air on numerous occasions" - Mark Wernimont, Minnesota, USA

"I am an exsmoker of 13 years and I think the smoking ban is fantastic for all of us long term. You only need to go to France and sit in a pub or restaurant to appreciate how nice it is not to be inhaling other people's smoke" - Name and address supplied

"The legal requirement to provide nonsmoking areas in public spaces, especially public houses has been long overdue. However, a complete smoking ban was totally unnecessary and is recognized by almost everybody I have spoken to as a bad thing. A lot of work places have been voluntarily smoke free for a number of years, so it is not an issue with these. The only difference being that now the owners/operators risk a fine if they don't put up 'no smoking' signs. However, I regard the banning of smoking in all pubs etc. as a giant leap backwards as far as democracy is concerned. These are in fact private premises (not public) and it should be up to the owner/operator to decide the rules which should apply. I would stress however, that I have never liked smokey pubs and have shown this in the past by voting with my feet. But as in all successful societies, there should be tolerance and not legal bans (in this case enforced by 'undercover operators'). As far as I am concerned this is far too high a price to pay and makes the UK a much less desirable place to live" - Name and address supplied