10 years ago the government banned smoking from enclosed public spaces and workplaces in an effort to make our nation healthier. From the start businesses complained the ban was going to have a negative impact and to an extent it did for some businesses. But how has the ban affected our health a decade on?

Fewer brits are smoking

Prior to the ban the number of smokers fluctuated greatly. Notably, since the enforced restrictions there has been a gradual decline in the smoking population. According to the Office of National Statistics, less than 17 % of the British population over 16 now smoke.  With the exception of a few staunch smokers, trends suggest that number of smokers will continue to to decline.  

Parents are more aware of the effects

Shortly following the introduction of the ban, the NHS stop-smoking services saw a 23% rise in participants. By raising awareness on the effects of secondhand smoke, smokers became more aware of both their own health and the health of those around them. Experts believe that this has had a major influence on preventing parents with young children from smoking.

Bar workers’ health has improved...

The Department of Health found that respiratory illness amongst bar workers dropped by a staggering 30% just one year after the ban. A recent YouGov poll found that 14% of ex-smokers attributed the smoking ban to being one of the main reasons to quit. 20% of those who still smoke have claimed that the ban has helped them cut down on how much they smoke.

… and children's too

Arguably the largest improvement following the imposing of the smoking ban has been the reduction in exposure that children face. Just 3 years after the ban was imposed, a Glasgow University study suggested that there had been a 15% reduction in children being diagnosed with asthma.

Evidence suggests that the smoking ban has had a dramatically positive impact on our health. Support for the ban remains strong, with a mere 12% believing it should be overturned.

If you or someone you know is struggling to fight the addiction take a look at 10 self help tips to stop smoking.