England to go smokefree on 1 July 2007: truly a time for celebration.



Friday 01 December 2006

ASH news release:  Embargoed: 0.01  Friday 1 December 2006

 

England to go smokefree on 1 July 2007: truly a time for celebration

ASH reacted with delight to the news today that the date for the implementation of England’s smokefree law has been set for 1 July 2007.

 

From 1 July 2007, the whole of the United Kingdom will have smokefree legislation in place, making it the biggest jurisdiction in the world (by population) to have legally-enforced protection from secondhand smoke. [1] This means that all employees in offices, shops, factories, restaurants or pubs will be able to work in a clean, smokefree environment.

 

Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity ASH, said:

 

“After years of dogged campaigning for the right to work and socialise in places free of tobacco smoke, our goal is finally in sight.  The Government should be congratulated for passing this landmark legislation that will have a lasting impact on the health of the nation. [2]

 

“This is truly a time for celebration. This law has popular support, is good for health and will be good for business too.  The only losers are the tobacco companies who have fought and failed to prevent this incredibly important measure from being implemented. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of countless organisations, politicians, health advocates and the support of the hospitality trade, the days of smoke-clogged rooms and stinging eyes are almost over.”

 

 

ENDS

 

Notes and links:

[1]  With a population of  50.4 million, England is by far the largest country in the world to have passed smokefree legislation.  The only other countries that have similar laws in place are: Ireland, Norway, New Zealand, Bhutan and Scotland.   In addition, several US States, Canadian provinces and Australian states also have smokefree laws.  Once the English ban comes into effect, 60.2 million people living throughout the United Kingdom will be able to enjoy smokefree workplaces and public places.

 

The implementation of the smokefree legislation will vary for each nation within the UK:

Wales – 2 April; Northern Ireland – 30 April; England – 1 July.  Scotland went smoke free on 26 March 2006.

 

[2]  In the long term it is expected that there will be a substantial reduction in the number of deaths from heart disease and cancer as a result of people quitting smoking in response to the smoking ban and a reduction in the number of people being affected by secondhand smoke.  There will also be significant improvements in health in the short to medium term.  In Scotland, for example, just 5 months after the smoking ban a study found improvements in the lung function of people working in bars.  Ref:

JAMA. 2006;296:1742-1748.

 

Contact: Deborah Arnott  020 7739 5902 (w) 079 7693 5987 (m) ISDN available

 

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