Anniversary of UK smoking ban ‘marks a decade of success’

In the space of 10 years there are 1.9 million fewer people smoking in Britain and “big changes in public attitudes towards smoking”.

It has been ten years since venues in England prevented people from smoking indoors and ensured people could work, drink and dine without passive inhalation. Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales already had bans in place, making 1 July 2007 the first time all indoor UK venues went smoke free, following recommendations put in place by the 2006 Health Act.

According to Cancer Research UK, there are now 1.9 million fewer smokers in Britain – with the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds lighting up falling from 26% to a record low of 17%.  The proportion of the population that are regular smokers has also dropped from 20.9% to 16.1%.  What has changed since the smoking ban was brought in?
  • You don’t wake up in the morning stinking of smoke
  • You don’t have to check clothes for cigarette burns after anyone with a fag in their hand got too close
  • More people have quit!  An extra 300,000 smokers used the ban to make a quit attempt
  • There were almost 7000 fewer hospital admissions for childhood asthma in the following 3years
  • We are never asked smoking or non-smoking when booking a restaurant table
  • Deal with the awkwardness of being seated at a non-smoking table next to the smoking area
  • Smoking shelters are now the norm with E-Smoking shelters starting to pop up
  • Tricky decision making in winter whether you should brave the weather for a quick smoke
  • Your local finally smells nice again after the shock of it initially stinking of stale ale!

Elizabeth Sinclair, Managing Director of Epica Health & Safety, “At the time when they were taking about bringing the smoking ban in I decided it was time.  Time to quit!  I told myself I was too old to smoke and could see the writing on the wall, on being unable to smoke in public places.  So I make a decision and picked the hardest day to quit, New Years Eve!  I must have been bonkers!  I told myself if I could get through that night without a cigg, I could get through any night!  Any you know what I did it and haven’t looked back. To this day I still get the odd urge to have another, but stay strong.  To all of you who want quit, really want to quit, do it.  Do it for you, feel better about yourself.  Good luck!”