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Public back smokefree legislation

Nearly 80% of people believe the smoking ban will have a positive effect on public health, new figures show.

Three quarters of adults support the law, and a greater proportion of smokers (47%) back the legislation than oppose it (37%), the Department of Health said.

The Smokefree England survey found people have noticed that their clothes and hair do not smell after visiting a pub, that there is a better atmosphere in licensed premises, and they enjoy the cleaner air.

The number of complaints to the smokefree compliance line has also dropped since the first few days of the ban.

More than 1,000 calls were recorded during the first week of operation, but that had fallen to an average of 20 a day in September.

Also, there have only been 70 fixed-penalty notices issued to individuals for smoking inside since 1 July, when the legislation came into effect, which suggests that the law has been largely self-enforced.

Health minister Dawn Primarolo said: "People of all ages are reaping the benefits of healthier, less smoky work and social environments, which in turn are seen as an incentive for many to get out and socialise more.

"The evidence is clear, second-hand smoke is a killer and removing it from enclosed public and work environments marks the single biggest improvement in public health for a generation."

Department of Health

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