English smoking ban comes into force in UK workplaces

Most businesses in England have gone smoke-free without a hitch since the ban came into force in July, according to a government survey.

The Department of Health poll, carried out two weeks after the ban came into force, found that 97% of premises inspected were now smoke-free.

The data from 88,899 inspections, including 1,090 hotels, 6,783 restaurants and 9,568 licensed premises, also found 79% were displaying the correct no-smoking signs.

Just one fixed penalty notice had been served on an individual wilfully flouting the law by smoking in a smoke-free place, it added.

Meanwhile, Scotland’s smoking ban has led to significant improvements in public health, including a sharp reduction in second-hand smoke exposure.

Two studies in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) by the University of Edinburgh and NHS Health Scotland have concluded that levels of cotinine, a by-product of nicotine, had fallen by almost half (49%) in non-smokers from non-smoking households.

The next goal is to reduce smoking in the home and in cars, the BMJ added.

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