In The Beginning
It has been nearly twelve years since United Kingdom citizens were banned from smoking in enclosed public spaces. Let’s take an honest look at how it’s changed our health. There’s no denying that it has changed things, because people are now suffering less from cigarette related illnesses and our air quality has improved dramatically.
Smoke filled pubs and the acrid amoma of cigarettes filling the air of restaurants are nothing more than a memory now days, because on 1 July 2007, it became illegal to smoke in any pub, restaurant, nightclub, and most workplaces and work vehicles, anywhere in the United Kingdom.
Even though the smoking ban had already been put into place in Scotland since 2006, Wales and Northern Ireland, and England didn’t follow until 2007. Breaking the law became punishable by a fine, and millions of pounds was set aside to help enforce it. They did enforce it. Rigidly. Which in itself is often unusual with a new law.
There are many who still believe that the ban was one of the biggest public health interventions implemented in modern times. But are they right or is this just wishful thinking? Certainly the numbers in several areas of study seem to support the validity of this way of thinking.
We can see that before the ban there was a large body of research linking passive smoking to health problems. That cannot be denied, and there are countless studies which have shown breathing in second-hand smoke increased an adult non-smoker’s risk of lung cancer and heart disease by a as much as twenty-five percent, and of stroke by thirty percent. Now, those are significant numbers.
Children who are subjected to breathing in other people’s smoke are at a much higher risk of health issues because their lungs are still developing, therefore they have a much higher instance of respiratory infections, asthma, bacterial meningitis and cot death.
What Effect Did The Ban Have On Us?
According to research conducted by the British Medical Journal, it is estimated there were 1,200 fewer hospital admissions for heart attacks in the year following the ban than in previous years. It stands to reason that the improved air quality and fewer smokers will have helped to contribute to this decrease.
“Directly after the legislation, more people were trying to quit smoking, and more people succeeded because it’s much easier to avoid those situations,” says Hazel Cheeseman, Director of Policy at ASH (Action on Smoking and Health). It makes sense that if you’re not subjected to it, there’s a ‘out of sight, out of mind’ effect.
If we look at the stats, we see that in the year 2006, twenty-two percent of adults smoked, whereas in 2015, only eighteen percent did. This is part of a gradual decline in United Kingdom smoking rates since 1974, when the government first began gathering this data. Every year since the ban and with the popularity of vaping those numbers continue to decrease even more.
While We’re Out
For instance, in the bars across the United Kingdom before the ban, air pollution from cigarette smoke was much higher than the ‘unhealthy’ threshold for outdoor air quality. a University of Bath study found. Levels in Scottish and Welsh bars were often found to be nearly twice as high as in English bars. After the ban, air pollution in United Kingdom bars reduced by as much as ninety-three percent. That is nothing short of amazing, and we need to keep in mind that this also means that litter from cigarettes will have slowly been on the decline.
Since the ban was first put into place, air pollution in United Kingdom bars has reduced by as much as ninety-three percent. Ninety-three percent! That just astounds me. How the hell have we all survived before this ban, I wonder? It seems impossible at times, I’m sure you’ll agree. I do know that if we don’t doing more for our health and that of the planets, there won’t be any of us left.
In the beginning there were many people who believed that if there was a ban on smoking in public places, it would mean that children were in more danger from their parents smoking in the home, but, as it turns out, this was not the case. More and more people stopped smoking inside of their houses as more information became available about the dangers of secondhand smoke to children.
One Glasgow University study showed that, before the smoking ban, the number of admissions to the hospital of children with asthma was increasing on average by five percent each year in Scotland. In the three years after the ban, admissions decreased eighteen percent annually.
Within the three months after implementing the ban, there was a 6.3 percent drop in the volume of cigarettes sold in England. Which may not sound like a lot, but it is in fact, considerable. Big Tobacco was getting a warning of what the future could bring and they didn’t like it one bit.
The smoking ban was just one in a series of moves to discourage smoking. In turn, it began to change culture too. Today, the air quality is better in the United Kingdom and there are less people suffering from cigarette related illnesses. This is great and Medusa Juice wants to continue to see people get healthier and stop smoking all together and with their help, you can quit. I did.
If you smoke and want to quit, please call or stop into one of the four Medusa Juice Vape Shops located in King’s Lynn, Peterborough and Norfolk. You can also visit their website or contact them via Facebook and twitter. Their staff can help you find the perfect equipment and e-liquids to help you become a non-smoker. You won’t be sorry, trust me. I smoked for forty-five years and now have been cigarette free for over a year. I owe it all to the helpful people at Medusa Juice.