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Non-smokers benefit from ban

Date 3 Oct 2007
Author The Editor
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The smoking ban has led to healthier workplaces in the hospitality industry, according to Cancer Research UK. In the first report into the impact of the English ban, which was introduced in July, scientists discovered firm evidence of its benefits.

Researchers from Edinburgh and Aberdeen universities analysed the saliva of 39 non-smoking workers before and after the smoking ban came into force. They found a 75% fall in cotinine, which is a by-product of nicotine. The level of cotinine is taken as a good indication of how much cigarette smoke has entered the body. Cancer Research welcomed the findings but warned that it would take years before the benefits of the changes would be reflected in mortality rates.

Elspeth Lee, senior tobacco control manager at Cancer Research UK, said: "Although we won't see a reduction in cancer rates for some years to come, the short term health gains we have seen here are very encouraging. As one of the largest countries in the world to adopt comprehensive smokefree legislation to date, we hope these results will demonstrate to other nations that this legislation is workable and has almost immediate health benefits."

In addition, the negative impact of the legislation feared by many businesses in advance of the ban turned out to be less than expected. In June, over half of business owners said the law would have a negative effect on their trade. When asked in August, 70 per cent said the law had a positive or no impact on their trade.

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