United Kingdom - public smoking ban does not lead to more smoking at home..

November 25, 2009 - One of the main criticisms of the ban in public places was that it could prompt people to swap pubs for drinking at home where they could smoke. But a Cardiff University study of 3,500 primary school children found hardly any change in smoking exposure. Anti-smoking groups and the government said the results vindicated the introduction of the ban.

PAPER: Changes in child exposure to secondhand smoke after implementation of smoke-free legislation in Wales: a repeated cross-sectional study, Jo C Holliday Graham F Moore and Laurence AR Moore, BMC Public Health 2009, 9:430 (published 11/24, 2009), ABSTRACT..

Smoke-free legislation was enforced across the United Kingdom (UK) by July 2007 (England - July 1, 2007, Scotland - March 26, 2006, Wales - April 2, 2007, Northern Ireland - April 30, 2007).

Lead researcher Professor Laurence Moore said: "We could have hoped for a fall, and I think what policy-makers now need to do is look at ways of preventing people from taking up smoking in the first place as a way of reducing smoking levels." There has been little change in smoking rates for the past 15 years with between a fifth and quarter of adults continuing to smoke.

Martin Dockrell, of anti-smoking group Ash, said it was pleasing to see that the critics had been proved wrong.

And a spokeswoman for the Department of Health agreed. But she added that the government wanted to see less parents smoking at home. "Exposure to second-hand smoke is harmful, especially to young people. For this reason, we encourage all smokers to make their homes and cars smoke-free, especially if children are present."

Reference: Smoking ban 'did not lead to rise in home exposure', BBC, 11/23/2009.

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