An expert from Action on Smoke and Health (ASH) says the smoking ban will go down in history as one of the most important public health interventions.
Established by the Royal College of Physicians in 1971 ASH is a campaigning public health charity that works to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco.
The controversial smoking ban came into force in England on 1 July 2007 and banned smoking in enclosed public places such as pubs, restaurants and work places.
“The smoking ban will go down in history”
Information Manager at ASH Amanda Sandford says the ban has prevented people from being exposed to secondhand smoke.
“One of the things we have already seen is a drop in the admissions to hospital for heart disease amongst people who would otherwise have been exposed to tobacco smoke,” she said.
“Nowadays it would be unthinkable for anyone to just light up in an indoor public place, so we’ve achieved a great deal in that respect.
“I think the smoking ban in public places will go down in history as one of the most important public health interventions.”
A 2014 report by ASH says there is no risk free level of second hand smoke.
The report reads: “Significant reductions in SHS exposure in the UK have been seen since the introduction of the smokefree legislation in 2007, and social norms and knowledge about SHS are changing.
“However millions of adults and children continue to be exposed to SHS in homes and vehicles, meaning that passive smoking remains a substantial cause of mortality and ill health.”
“Secondhand smoke is dangerous”
Amanda added: “The argument that secondhand is just another inconvenience or is on a par with car exhaust fumes doesn’t really address the issue.
“The point about secondhand smoke is that it is dangerous, there is strong evidence to show that it can cause the same diseases as active smoking but at a lower degree.
“It can cause heart disease and lung cancer in people who are exposed to tobacco smoke over a long period of time.”
A 2015 assessment by Nottingham City Council discovered the city has significantly higher rates of lung cancer, COPD and heart disease compared to England due to smoking.
Secondhand smoke also continues to be a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in Nottingham children with 22.3% of households in the city still allowing smoking in the home.
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