[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 10:46 GMT 11:46 UK
Public support for smoking ban
Cigarette smoke
Many smokers say they would like to quit
The introduction of the smoking ban on July 1st could be a smooth ride, national survey results suggest.

Almost eight out of 10 people questioned said they agreed with banning smoking in public places.

People feel particularly strongly about banning smoking in restaurants and around children, the annual Office of National Statistics survey found.

The Department of Health said awareness of the ban had increased dramatically in the past few months.

A smokefree England will see the single biggest improvement in public health for a generation
Caroline Flint

A total of 1,200 individuals in Great Britain over the age of 16 years were asked about their smoking habits.

The research, from 2006, shows 77% of people agree with legislation to ban smoking in enclosed public places - with 53% strongly supporting the ban.

But 15% said they were against the smoking ban.

Although 8% of adults in England and Wales said they would visit pubs less often when the ban is in force, 15% said they would go more often.

The vast majority of participants favoured smoking restrictions in restaurants, work places and places where children were likely to be, and two thirds supported the ban in pubs.

Under the legislation, smoking will be banned in shops, offices, factories, pubs, cafes, restaurants, membership clubs, public transport, and work vehicles used by more than one person.

Quitting

Seven out of 10 smokers said they would like to quit - a similar proportion to previous years - mainly for health reasons.

Most smokers had tried to quit at some point and 51% had sought advice or help for stopping smoking in the last year.

The figures come as delegates at the Annual Meeting of the Scottish Tobacco Control Alliance in Glasgow heard that too many children are still exposed to second-hand smoke in the home.

Results from the ONS survey showed about 61% said that smoking was not allowed in their home and 26% said it was allowed in some rooms or at some times.

And two-thirds said they would not smoke when they are in a room with a child.

Martin Dockrell, policy and campaigns manager at Action on Smoking and Health said: "This confirms the polling results we have been getting all Spring.

"The whole of England is looking forward to July 1st and we think there will be great benefits for many smokers who have long tried to quit and will find it easier this time to quit for good."

He said evidence from New York and Ireland suggested more people introduced smoking bans in their home after bans in public places were put in place.

"What is really interesting from this figures is that nine out of 10 people already have smoke free rules in their homes."

Public Health Minister, Caroline Flint said the number of people aware of the smoking ban had now risen to 95%.

"A smokefree England will see the single biggest improvement in public health for a generation," she added.

"Three quarters of people in England already choose not to smoke and almost three quarters of those who do smoke, say they want to give up. A smokefree England will help provide a supportive environment for those who want to quit."

But Simon Clark, director of Forest, said the figures masked the fact that people supported some restrictions but not an outright ban.

"Many people are ignorant of how draconian the legislation is - a great many people still think smoking will be allowed in pubs that don't serve food or private members clubs.

"What people really want is a choice."


SEE ALSO
One in 10 'is a secret smoker'
08 Mar 07 |  Health
England smoke ban to start 1 July
01 Dec 06 |  UK Politics

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific