An Overview

Why is Going Smoke Free So Important

There are a number of very good reasons why public places (including public transport) and workplaces should and have become smoke free.

The Smoke Free legislation has already served to improve the health of those previously at risk from second hand smoke as well as smokers themselves who may have cut down or quit smoking altogether following the ban. Scientists have reported that there is no instance in which being exposed to second hand smoke is ever risk free. Despite not smoking a cigarette themselves those breathing in second hand smoke are exposed to over 4000 chemical gases and particles, some of which are proven harmful and dangerous poisons.

Second hand smoke is well known as something which contributes to or directly causes a number of illnesses and conditions, cancer being one and heart disease another.

In just thirty minutes of being exposed to second hand smoke enough chemicals will have been absorbed into the bloodstream to cause a slowing of the coronary blood flow, a distressing fact.

After the release of the 2004 White Paper “Choosing Health” in which a number of ideas were suggested which would enable and empower individuals to make better health choices the government pledged to tackle the health risks associated with smoking. A clear plan was decided upon and swiftly executed when the Health Act or Smoke Free Law was introduced to parliament in 2006 and promptly passed. This law became active in 2007 (July) and makes it illegal to smoke in an enclosed public place, including on public transport as well as in the workplace.

This ground breaking legislation:

  • Offers advice and support to individuals wishing to quit smoking by fostering smoke free environments at work and in public places
  • Gives importance to an individual’s right to not smoke, including being exposed to second hand smoke.
  • Pro-actively works to decrease the number of second hand smoke related illnesses and conditions and associated deaths

Increases the life expectancy of many in the UK as a significant number have given up smoking, many have been reluctant to start smoking in the first place (who might have smoked before the legislation was introduced)and non-smokers have been protected from being unwittingly exposed to harmful second hand smoke.