Building on the success of ten years of comprehensive smokefree legislation in England
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Fresh, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A170
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Background and challenges to implementation:
England's comprehensive smokefree law (workplaces and enclosed public places), introduced in 2007, has been effective in protecting public health and has enjoyed increasing public support (86% in the NE in 2017) and consistent high compliance. The decade since has seen continued focus in the North East of England around protection from secondhand smoke, normalising smokefree spaces and building public support through a social movement around 'Making Smoking History'.

Intervention or response:
Working with partners in local government and the health service, Fresh - the NE's regional comprehensive tobacco control programme - has delivered sustained activity to reinforce the importance of protection from secondhand smoke including training of front line staff and also voluntary policies around smokefree outdoor areas frequented by children, lobbied for further evidence based legislation whilst highlighting the ultimate aim of encouraging smokers to quit.

Results and lessons learnt:
New regulations were introduced in 2015 to extend the smokefree law to cover private vehicles carrying children under 18 (91% NE public support). With 40% of NE smokers reporting they still smoke in the home, the need for ongoing education is clear and in 2017 Fresh ran a “secondhand smoke is poison” campaign with a hard hitting message around taking smoking right outside the home and the importance of protecting children from exposure.

Conclusions and key recommendations:
The success of the smokefree law has led the way in increasing public support for existing and potential tobacco control measures. It has provided the opportunity to go beyond the scope of the law by introducing new smokefree areas. Further legislation to make all private vehicles smokefree would be welcome. It has been important to place this work within an overall programme where quitting tobacco remains the goal. Overall smoking in the NE has declined by 41% in this decade.

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