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It’s been more than a decade since smoking indoors was banned and next year, some parts of the UK will ban smoking in certain outdoor public spaces too.
A lot of people complain about second hand smoke in places like hospital grounds and playgrounds, but all of that is set to change very soon. It’s all part of a plan to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.
The Welsh Government have talked about issuing fines to people who break the new laws.
A lot of hospitals already have no-smoking rules on the grounds but it can often be very hard to enforce them which can be quite annoying for anyone who’s just been discharged from hospital and has to stroll through someone’s cigarette smoke. Its gross.
Health secretary Vaughan Gething said that in 2007, when the indoor smoking ban came into action, people resisted the change, but that, “We have seen a remarkable culture-change and I am pleased our plan to extend smoke-free areas to outdoor public spaces has received overwhelming public support.”
Smoking related illnesses cos the NHS £302 billion per year in Wales alone and causes 5,450 deaths so anyone arguing this new law is probably fighting a losing battle.
And it’s not just hospital grounds and playgrounds who will feel the effect of this outdoor smoking ban. Uni campuses, schools, beaches and leisure centres will also fall under the crackdown.
Shirley Cramer, chief executive for Public Health, said: “Politicians of all parties should be in no doubt that health is an issue that is always of the utmost importance to voters.
“They must look for progressive and creative ways to improve and protect health for all, seizing whatever opportunities may be presented by the UK’s future outside the EU, while seeking to minimise its potential negative consequences.”
When the indoor smoking ban came into place in July 2007, over 400,000 smokers quit and heart attack rates fell by up to 42%.
“Smoking remains a highly visible part of life in outdoor spaces,” the RSPH website states.
“This is not only unhelpful and unsupportive for those who are trying to quit, but also sends a message to children and young people that smoking is a normal and desirable part of life.”
Their website adds: “To give existing smokers a viable alternative to help them quit, RSPH strongly recommends that e-cigarettes are exempt from any such bans.”
Around two million people vape in the UK and there are already a number of public outdoor places where smoking is already banned.
Professor John Britton of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies, has previously backed the idea, he said: “This is the kind of move which will reinforce the idea that you do not have to smoke.
“It’s the sort of thing that changes the next generation.”
The RSPH said: “The next UK Government should follow Scotland’s example and introduce an MUP of 50p per unit.”
Scientist recently revealed exactly what it takes to stop smoking…
Are you desperate to stop smoking but not sure what’s the best way to help you stop? While the government is introducing new measures on the sale of tobacco to make cigarettes seem less appealing to youngsters, what about the adults trying to give up the habit of a lifetime?
Well, science has the answer for you.
According to research conducted by Nicola Lindson-Hawley from the University of Oxford, and published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the best way to quit is to go cold turkey. She said: “A lot of people think that the common sense way to give up smoking is to reduce the amount they smoke before quitting”.
Although it may sound counter-intuitive, Nicola’s study demonstrated that those who slowly cut down off cigarettes are more likely to relapse than those who stop right away!
For her research, Nicola and her colleagues took 700 smokers who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day and challenged them to quit smoking. They all set a quit date for two weeks!
However, for the study, Nicola assigned half of those to smoke normally until their quit date, then to stop abruptly. Whereas the other half were asked to gradually reduce their smoking over the two weeks until stopping on the final day.
Additionally, 49 percent of the abrupt group were successful in quitting to just 39 percent of the group were.
After six months, 22 percent of those who went cold-turkey hadn’t relapsed compared to the 15 percent of the gradual group who kicked the habit.
Despite Nicola’s findings, those taking part in the study said they preferred to quit gradually rather than going cold-turkey.
Nicole added. “Even if people wanted to quit gradually, they were more likely to quit if they used the abrupt method… The quit rates we found in the gradual group were still quite good. If there are people who really feel they can’t quit abruptly, and they want to quit gradually—otherwise they won’t try to quit at all—we still need to support them to do that.”
It is worth noting all participants were given behavioural counselling, nicotine patches and nicotine replacement therapy from products like gum, lozenges and mouth spray.
In future research, she plans to explore the methods of gradual quitting to see if they can be made more effective. “If there are people who really feel they can’t quit abruptly, and they want to quit gradually—otherwise they won’t try to quit at all—we still need to support them to do that.”
The research didn’t look at other potential forms of smoking cessation, including e-cigarettes, which have yet to be definitively proven as an effective smoking cessation tool.
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