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World
02 Jul 2017

How the pub smoking ban has impacted Britain

Impact of pub smoking ban on  Britain

On July 1, 2007 the UK banned smoking in enclosed workplaces which effectively meant the country's famed pubs would no longer be smoker friendly.

The ban has led to a fundamental shift in the attitudes of Britons towards smoking and has led to several benefits, according to an article by the BBC's health correspondent Nick Triggle.

In this timeline, we study its impact.

In context

Impact of pub smoking ban on Britain
Smoking has declined, country fell in line

Increased support

Smoking has declined, country fell in line

The pub smoking ban was controversial when introduced but the country soon fell into line. Within 18 months, nearly 98% of all premises complied with the ban.

A recent YouGuv poll has found that nearly three-fourths of all citizens support it.

The number of smokers have also declined 17% in the past decade, an encouraging development.

Shutdowns

More pubs are closing down

In 2015, Britain was home to 50,000 pubs as opposed to 57,000 in 2007.

The rate of pub shutdowns has increased since 2007. Critics have blamed the smoking ban for this.

However, other factors, such as a huge decline in beer consumption, a 42% increase on duties levied on beer along with reduced disposable incomes due to the 2007 economic crash, have also contributed.

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Youth smoking declines, more smokers are quitting thanks to ban

Attitudes change

Youth smoking declines, more smokers are quitting thanks to ban

The number of youth, aged 11 to 16, who take up smoking has halved from 2007 to 2014.

The attitudes of smokers have also changed. There's been a 23% increase in quit attempts through NHS stop-smoking services since the ban was introduced.

14% of former smokers quit because of the ban and 20% of current smokers said they are smoking less because of it.

Health

Long term impact of smoking ban on public health unknown

The proportion of women smokers has decreased from 15.1% in 2006-07 to 10.5% in 2016-17.

However, it will take time to understand the complete effects of the smoking ban and subsequent decline in smoking on public health.

The incidence of lung cancer among men has decreased but has surprisingly increased among women since the smoking ban.

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