RSPH Report calls for New Smoking Exclusion Zones
A new report by the Royal Society for Public Health is calling for the smoking ban to be extended to include ‘smoking exclusion zones’ in areas outside pubs, bars and school grounds. The new areas would allow e-cigarettes to be used but would ban all types of tobacco. Researchers concluded that up to a third of smokers would opt for alternatives such as e-cigarettes if exclusion zones were established, pointing out that the 2007 ban had already gone a long way to ‘de-normalise’ the habit.
The study found that nine out of ten people surveyed also wrongly believed nicotine was the major source of harm from tobacco. RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer believes that showing smoking to be an abnormal habit is an important part of any control measures. “Over 100,000 people die from smoking-related disease every year in the UK, While we have made good progress to reduce smoking rates, one in five still smokes,” she said. “Children are hugely receptive to the behaviour of the adults around them. The sight of individuals smoking in prominent locations risks teaching them that smoking is a normal and safe habit. We believe that banning smoking in these locations via an exclusion zone could further de-normalise smoking, and potentially prevent children and young people from starting in the future.”
The report also calls for a greater use of e-cigarettes by smoking cessation services, a new licensing system for tobacco sales and the re-naming of e-cigarettes to vapourisers or nicotine control products.
A separate report by the University of Edinburgh released this week suggests that 1,500 stillbirths were prevented in the first four years of the smoking ban.
You can read the full RSPH report HERE