Stubbed out: A study claims more than 400,000 people in England have quit smoking since the ban on lighting up in public was introduced last year
At least 400,000 people in England have quit smoking as a result of the ban on lighting up in public places that was introduced last July, a study suggested today.
The Smoking Toolkit Study, which is being presented at the UK National Smoking Cessation Conference in Birmingham tomorrow, involved interviews with more than 32,000 smokers and ex-smokers over the nine months before the ban and the nine months afterwards.
In the nine months before the ban, there was a 1.6 per cent fall in the prevalence of smoking across England. But in the nine months after the ban, this fall was the much higher 5.5 per cent.
This is the first study in the world to examine in detail the impact on smoking rates solely from smokefree legislation Cheap Cigarettes For Sale Online
, without the influence of any other measures to tackle smoking.
Another study, by the Department of Health, will also highlight tomorrow the success of the smoking ban in encouraging people to quit the habit.
The report will show that a total of 234,060 people have stopped smoking with the help of the NHS Quit Smoking Service since the ban was brought in on July 1, 2007.
That is 22 per cent more people than in the previous 12 months.
Professor Robert West, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco studies, who carried out the Smoking Toolkit Study, said: 'These figures show the largest fall in the number of smokers on record.
'The effect has been as large in all social groups, poor as well as rich smokers.
'I never expected such a dramatic impact and of course there are no guarantees that smoking rates will not climb back up again.
'But if the Department of Health can keep up the momentum this has created, there is a realistic prospect of achieving a target of less than 15% of the population smoking within the next 10 years.'
Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, said: 'The smokefree law was introduced to protect the health of workers from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
'These results show it has also encouraged smokers to quit. These laws are saving lives and we mustn't forget that half of all smokers die from tobacco related illness.'
A spokeswoman for the Department of Health said: 'We are pleased that this research has showed such encouraging results Best Selling Cigarettes
'While the aim of smokefree legislation was to provide protection from the harm of second-hand smoke, it is good news that it has motivated smokers to kick their habit.'
The study was funded by Cancer Research UK Cheapest Cigarettes In Usa
, McNeil, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline.
The health charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) also revealed results of a survey with more than 3,000 people.
It found that 63 per cent strongly supported the ban on smoking in public places Cheap Cigarettes Near Me
More than eight in 10 (85 per cent) adults also wanted retailers convicted of selling tobacco illegally to children to be banned from selling them in the future. A total of 59 per cent supported banning tobacco being on display in shops.
Deborah Arnott, director of Ash, said: 'The smokefree legislation has been a fantastic success and is hugely popular Order Cigarettes Online
'But what it also shows is a hunger for more action: the smokefree law is not an end in itself but has proven to be a catalyst for further controls on tobacco.
'There is still a lot more that needs to be done. In particular the Government should focus on measures to shield children from tobacco industry marketing while parents and carers can do much more to protect children from exposure to second-hand smoke in the home and car.'
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