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Smoking: Public Places

Volume 475: debated on Tuesday 29 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effects of the smoking ban on (a) public health and (b) his Department’s expenditure; and what mechanisms he has put in place to measure these effects. (201663)

Smokefree legislation was introduced primarily to protect people from the harm of second-hand smoke in enclosed parts of work and public places.

Research has been commissioned which will evaluate various aspects of the impact of the smokefree law in England; the resulting reports will be published once completed and peer reviewed. While it is still too early for any of the Department’s commissioned research to have been published, in October 2007 Cancer Research UK and the Tobacco Control Centre published results from a small scale study of the impact of the new law. That research found that hospitality workers exposure to harmful second-hand smoke may have fallen by 95 per cent. since 1 July 2007.

An assessment of the costs and benefits of smokefree legislation is set out in the Final Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA), entitled “Final Regulatory Impact Assessment to be made under Powers in Part 1 Chapter 1 of the Health Act 2006” was published by the Department in December 2006.

Copies of the RIA are in the Library.