A decade after cigarettes were banned from UK’s pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants, smoking rates in the country have reached the lowest ever recorded, according to a research. There are 1.9 million fewer smokers in the UK compared to when the smoking ban was introduced in 2007, said researchers from Cancer Research UK. Smokefree laws have had one of the biggest impacts on public health over the last decade. The drop in smokers means there are now around 8,300,000 adult smokers in Britain, researchers said.
“We are thrilled that 10 years on, the smoking ban has been such an enormous success,” said Harpal Kumar, chief executive at Cancer Research UK. “As well as protecting people from the deadly effects of passive smoking, we have also seen big changes in public attitudes towards smoking,” he said. “It’s now far less socially acceptable and we hope this means fewer young people will fall into such a potentially lethal addiction,” he added.
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Researchers also that found over the decade the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds who smoke had fallen to 17 per cent from 26 per cent in 2007 – a record low. More than 4,300 people revealed that very few people want to turn back the clock and allow smoking in enclosed public spaces. Only 12 per cent were in favour of reversing the smokefree laws, researchers said.
Researchers found that almost six in 10 (57 per cent) agree that the health of hospitality workers has improved, and almost four in 10 (38 per cent) say their own health has also benefited from the reduced exposure to second hand smoke. 20 per cent of smokers said the ban had helped them cut down the number of cigarettes they smoke, and an impressive 14 per cent of ex-smokers credit the ban with helping them quit altogether. Almost four in 10 (38 per cent) people across Britain believe that the ban has also helped protect the next generation from taking up smoking.