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Smoke ban working

16th August 2007

50% of smokers are "smoking less" following the ban on smoking in enclosed public places, which came into force on 1 July 2007.

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Ciao Surveys asked 1,000 smokers about their smoking habits. One third of respondents revealed that they now smoked fewer cigarettes when they visited bars. Only 1.8% admitted to giving up smoking completely.

3 out of 10 smokers, and 9 in every 10 non-smokers, supported the ban. Almost all of the survey's respondents said that bars and pubs were more pleasant since the ban on smoking.

However, almost two-thirds of smokers and a quarter of non-smokers said drinking venues now smelt of "other odours such as as sweat and stale beer."

Doctors think passive smoking causes the death of over 600 people annually. Around 10 million adults in the UK smoke. Research indicates that around 70% of smokers want to stop smoking.

The government introduced the ban to encourage people to stop smoking, although its "primary aim" was to lessen the risk of exposure to cigarette smoke.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "We estimate that a complete smoking ban might reduce smoking rates by 1.7%; taking smoking from 24% now, down to 22%."

"This will mean around 600,000 fewer smokers in the long term."

Amanda Sandford of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) called the results of the survey "very positive." She said they expected to see more smokers stopping the habit over time.


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