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Scottish smoking ban brings positive results

10 September 2007

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A study of nine Scottish hospitals has found a 17% fall in admissions for heart attacks in the first year after the smoking ban came into force in March 2006.

The evaluation found that after the legislation came into force there was:

  • A 17% reduction in heart attack admissions to nine Scottish hospitals. This compares with an annual reduction in Scottish admissions for heart attack of 3% per year in the decade before the ban.
  • Clear evidence of improvement in air quality.
  • A 39% reduction in second-hand smoke exposure in 11-year-olds and in adult nonsmokers.
  • An 86% reduction in second-hand smoke in bars.
  • An increase in the proportion of homes with smoking restrictions.
  • No evidence of smoking shifting from public places into the home.
  • High public support for the legislation even among smokers, whose support increased once the legislation was in place.

Deputy chief medical officer, professor Peter Donnelly, said: “This raft of research demonstrates the significant public health benefits that the smoking ban is already having in Scotland.

“It provides evidence that the legislation is improving the health of everyone in Scotland – including smokers, nonsmokers, children and barworkers.

“One of the most important findings is the reduction in heart attacks. We believe that the smoking ban was a large contributory factor to this drop.

“I am confident that we will continue to see the positive effects of the ban in years to come.”

Public Health Minister Shona Robison said: “More and more countries in Europe and across the rest of the world are now following suit by banning smoking in public places and I am proud that Scotland led the way in the UK.

“We want to continue the work to make Scotland a smoke-free society and that is why next month, subject to Parliamentary approval, we will be raising the age of cigarette sales from 16 to 18.”

The Scottish Government

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