Since We Got The Ban
It’s been over ten years now since citizens of the United Kingdom were banned from smoking in enclosed public spaces. Let’s have a look at how it’s changed our health, if indeed, it has.
You will remember hazy pubs and the odour of cigarettes lingering in restaurants, but they are now just that, a mere memory. Because on 1 July, 2007, it became illegal to smoke in any pub, restaurant, nightclub, and most workplaces and work vehicles. This included anywhere in the United Kingdom.
While the smoking ban had already been introduced in Scotland since March of 2006, Wales and Northern Ireland, April 2007. It wasn’t difficult to make it a complete ban throughout England as well. They made breaking this law is punishable by a fine, and millions were set aside to help enforce it. Which may have been the first and last time so many bureaucrats worked together for one cause. But this is where Medusa Juice came to the rescue. They began to educate and help smokers quit easily and for them to begin a healthier lifestyle.
Tobacco Policy Lead at the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH),Toby Green was quoted as saying that the ban was “one of the biggest public health interventions we’ve seen in the last fifteen years”, when the ban first took effect.
Prior to the ban, there was a large body of research which linked passive smoking to many health problems. Studies showed that even breathing in secondhand smoke increased an adult non-smoker’s risk of lung cancer and heart disease by twenty-five percent, and a thirty percent increased chance of stroke. Those are significant amounts and especially since these are serious diseases, not just some bout of hiccups or something!
So, we know that breathing in other people’s smoke is particularly harmful for children because their lungs are still developing. This results in a higher risk of respiratory infections, asthma, bacterial meningitis and cot death.
What effect did the smoking ban have?
Out of sight helps to keep it out of mind. According to Hazel Cheesman, Director of Policy at ASH“ (Action on Smoking and Health) when asked directly after the legislation, said, “more people were trying to quit smoking, and more people succeeded because it’s much easier to avoid those situations.”
The British Medical Research Journal estimated there were 1,200 fewer hospital admissions for heart attacks in the year following the ban. Wow, I can barely believe it is true, nonetheless. It appears that improved air quality and fewer smokers will have contributed to this. Which is really something as a smoker, we don’t generally think about, isn’t it? Improved air quality, I mean.
In the year 2006, twenty-two percent of adults in the United Kingdom smoked, whereas, today, the latest statistics show less than fifteen percent do. This is part of a gradual decline in United Kingdom smoking rates since 1974, when the government first began gathering this data.
In United Kingdom bars before the ban, air pollution from cigarette smoke was much higher than the ‘unhealthy’ threshold for outdoor air quality (set by the US Environmental Protection Agency), a University of Bath study found. Levels in Scottish and Welsh bars were often 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’s incredible, just think about it.
“There was concern that if people can’t go to the pub and smoke they might stay home and smoke around their children, but the opposite has been true,” says Hazel. “We’ve seen a great shift to people smoking outside, so most children in the United Kingdom now live in smoke-free homes.” We here at Medusa work tirelessly to help you quit smoking and stay off of the cigarettes. We can help you with equipment, information, and put you in touch with others who, like you, are trying to improve their lives.
Spread The Word
Glasgow University had a study which showed that, before the smoking ban, the number of hospital admissions 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 each year.
In the three months following the ban there was a 6.3 percent drop in the volume of cigarettes sold in England. Big tobacco is nervous!
According to our ten year timeline, the smoking ban is one of a series of methods to discourage people from smoking. We have now seen a significant shift in culture and people are finally able to quit smoking easier and without suffering.
Medusa Juice is proud to have helped people to reduce their use of cigarettes and we have strived to educate the public about the harm of tobacco. If you’re thinking about giving up cigarettes, please give us a call or get in touch via Facebook, email on our website, or stop in to one of the four Medusa Juice outlets. We’re here to help.