Simon Hamilton, NI Health Minister recently launched a new report which examined progress made in reducing exposure to second-hand smoke in Northern Ireland incorporating a 5 year review of smoke-free legislation.
The report entitled ‘Smoke-free Spaces’ was produced by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in partnership with the Institute of Public Health in Ireland (IPH).
The Minister stated: “This report clearly shows that smoke-free legislation in Northern Ireland has been a success. Not only have we protected people in their place of work from exposure to the many toxic chemicals produced by tobacco smoke but the legislation has also had an impact on smoking behaviour in other environments.”
“Opponents of the legislation claimed that it would lead to increased smoking in the home. I am happy to report the reverse has happened. By placing restrictions on where people can smoke in public, many smokers now think twice about lighting up in their own homes.”
Other benefits included in the report include:
• a shift towards lower consumption of cigarettes between pre-ban and post-ban periods by both adult and child smokers;
• lower rates of smoking by pregnant women;
• reduced smoking prevalence by 11 to 16 year olds; and
• sustained high levels of compliance with the legislation by both individuals and businesses.
To read more on this report and to access it in full see here.