Study identifies link between asthma-related hospital admissions and smoke-free legislation
A study by researchers at Glasgow University has suggested that there has been a positive effect on asthma and respiratory disease problems in children since the smoking ban came into force in the country in 2006. The study analysed the number of children admitted to hospital with asthma-related health problem over a nine year period, spanning from before the smoking ban was brought into force to 3 years following its implementation. The results showed a 15% reduction in the number of asthma-related admissions over the period.
Prior to the smoking ban, hospital admissions of children with asthma were increasing at a rate of 5.2% per year. Following the ban, however, the rate of admissions has shown an average percentage reduction of 13% per year; figures the study’s researchers claim show the benefits of smoke-free legislation.
This month sees the fifth anniversary since the smoking ban was brought into force in Scotland. Health experts have widely hailed the legislation, including Sally Haw from the Scottish Collaboration for Public Health and Policy who commented that the smoking ban has been “one of Scotland's big public health success stories.”
The overall rate of smoking in Scotland is 25%; nearly 4% higher than the UK average. There are also concerns that although the overall proportion of smokers in Scotland has reduced by 2.4% in the five years since the smoking ban was introduced, rates remain high in deprived areas; some with a rate of up to 41% of the adult population.