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Scottish smoking ban improves public health

Published:  23 July, 2008

UK: Year on year hospital admissions down

The ban on smoking in public places, including pubs and bars, has resulted in a 17% drop in heart attack admissions in Scotland.

Since the ban was introduced in Scotland in March 2006, air quality in pubs has also improved, making it equivalent to that outdoors.

According to a study, conducted by IOSH, the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, since the Scottish ban was introduced exposure to second hand smoke in Scotland has reduced by 40% among adults and children.

Richard Jones, director of technical affairs, IOSH, said: "This is very welcome news for all employees previously exposed to second-hand smoke, especially bar workers.

"We believed this ban would have a major impact on improving health, reducing the associated risks of heart disease and lung cancer, and from passive smoke, so are delighted with these great early findings. Providing smoke-free workplaces is helping employers too, in terms of reducing any sickness absence caused by passive smoking, while also giving smokers another positive reason and supportive environment to give up."

Before the ban went nationwide, around three million people across the UK were regularly exposed to second hand smoke at work.

According to the British Medical Association UK bar workers' exposure to smoke was six time that of office workers. Non-smokers working in the smokiest bars were more likely (around 20 times) to get lung cancer than the average non-smoker.