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Scottish bars healthier since the smoking ban

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by Cancer Research UK | News

11 September 2006

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An overwhelming 92 per cent of Scottish bar staff say their workplaces are healthier since the introduction of the smoking ban six months ago – according to an opinion poll commissioned by Cancer Research UK published today (Monday).

And more than three quarters (78 per cent) of those surveyed believe that the legislation will benefit their health in the long term.

To celebrate the success of the ban, Cancer Research UK is re-launching the iconic poster campaign that welcomed the introduction of the historic law in March. The revamped posters show the stubbed out cigarette crushed into the shape of Scotland but bear the new message ‘Smoke-free and saving lives’ underneath. The image will appear on poster sites, in press and on buses.

Professor Gerard Hastings, Director of Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Tobacco Control Research at Stirling University, said: “This is great news. The survey results show that, in just six months, the people of Scotland are already reaping the health benefits of the going smoke-free.”

Even bar workers who smoke are overwhelmingly positive about the health effects of the new law with 89 per cent reporting that their work environment is now healthier because of it, and 69 per cent believing that it will benefit their health in the long term.

Professor Hastings added: “By protecting people from secondhand smoke and helping smokers to quit, Scotland’s smoking ban will save many thousands of lives in the next decade.”

The survey also shows that more young people than older people think the ban is benefiting their health. Eighty-two per cent of 18-29 year olds compared to 67 per cent of those over 50 years believe their workplace is now much healthier. This echoes previous research that found that young people are most proud of Scotland leading the way on smoke-free legislation**.

More than 500 bar workers from across Scotland took part in the opinion poll. There were no significant regional differences in terms of whether bar workers felt healthier since the ban*.

Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Professor Alex Markham, said: “Scotland should be proud of having moved so fast to embrace smoke-free legislation. While the rest of the UK plays catch up, Scotland has led the way in showing how to ensure a smoke-free future.

“Most smokers want to quit. And the ban gives them a golden opportunity to stop smoking for good.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact Sophy Fitzpatrick on 020 7 061 8318 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.

A high-resolution image of the poster is available to download by clicking here.