Smokefree England - 10 Days To Go

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Government News Network

Smokefree England

Public Health Minister Caroline Flint starts final countdown to a smokefree England.

With just ten days to go until England becomes smokefree, the latest public opinion research shows that support for smokefree has never been higher with eight out of ten people supporting the introduction of this hugely important new law.

On Sunday 1 July virtually all enclosed public places and workplaces will become smokefree, as the Health Act 2006 comes into force. Shops, offices, factories, pubs, cafes, restaurants, membership clubs, public transport, and work vehicles used by more than one person will all be smokefree.

The latest public opinion research, published by the government today also shows that 95 per cent of people are aware of the new law, with unprompted awareness of the 1st July date as high as 83 per cent, compared to 55 per cent in April. Around 73 per cent of regular pub-goers, support the introduction of the legislation.

Public Health Minister, Caroline Flint said:

"A smokefree England will see the single biggest improvement in public health for a generation. The scientific and medical evidence is clear - secondhand smoke is a killer. There is no safe level of exposure. This legislation means that thousands of lives will be saved and the health of everybody will be protected.

"This new law will protect people from the harm of secondhand smoke whether they are working, socialising or relaxing. 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.

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"We have worked hard over the last seven months to ensure that everyone is aware of the new law, how it affects them and what they need to do. Support has been provided to businesses and individuals by the Department of Health and local councils and we are confident that England is ready to go smokefree on 1 July.

"I would like to thank everyone, from health and business groups to the leisure and hospitality industry, for their involvement and support in the Smokefree England campaign and for helping to make a smokefree England a reality."

The next week sees the culmination of a wide range of awareness raising activities around England. These are being organised by Smokefree England alongside local alliances, councils, primary care trusts and other groups.

Further findings of the survey of 1700 adults include:

78 per cent of people believe going smokefree will have a positive effect on health, including

53 per cent of smokers

66 per cent of people say that the legislation will not affect how often they go to the pub and

18 per cent say they will go more often

72 per cent of people say that the legislation will not affect how often they go to restaurants and almost two in ten (19 per cent) say they will go more often

Nine out of ten people (90 per cent) think that the legislation will be enforced

92 per cent of people believe their employer will enforce the legislation and 89 percent believe business owners/managers will enforce it.

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