It probably comes as no shock to the majority of people reading this that new research has shown that children who are admitted into hospital with asthma has decreased substantially since the smoking ban came into effect back in 2007. In the first year alone after the ban was imposed there was a 12.3% decrease with further reduction with each passing year.
Research undertaken at the Imperial College, London, using NHS official statistics, has shown that the decline was equal to approximately 6,802 fewer hospital admissions within the initial 3 years since the law kicked in. If we average that per year we are looking at around 2,267. Wow, that’s a lot of children!! Taking a peak not too far into the past before the smoking ban existed, statistics tell us that children who were taken into hospital after suffering a severe asthma attack was on the increase by 2.2% annually, which in 2006/2007 peaked at a staggering 26,969. Looking at the before and after it is clear to see the trend has taken a sharp u turn with children living in all areas ranging from cities to those residing in rural areas benefiting from this ban.
Personally speaking looking at the above this fully justifies the smoking ban but then if you think about all the other people whose health has been improved due to not inhaling harmful second hand smoke then the only question that could be asked is why was this ban not imposed sooner?
What is interesting to note is that these findings are not just localised to England but studies from Scotland and even North America have shown similar results which firmly back up the legitimacy of these studies. They also go on to show that England has also seen a reduced rate of heart attacks.
Recent attempts to discourage smoking saw the government try to implement a shock tactic approach by superimposing graphical images on cigarette packets which has had mixed results. The research concluded that the images made people ‘THINK’ about quitting and didn’t necessarily have the impact that the government thought it would. One woman went on to say that after herself and her two sisters had just witnessed their mother passing away due to lung cancer caused by years of smoking, the two sisters directly went outside for a cigarette. Other attempts have seen varying countries take the opposite approach of making their packages plain white, with the idea being that a plain packet is not appealing to the younger generation. Personally I feel that in a world where children and young adults are being exposed to stories through the media of violence and terrorism on a daily basis that they are becoming desensitised to the effect where graphical images will revoke no emotional or mental response from such pictures. I suppose this only leaves education as the primary vehicle to drive the message across. I also feel the people are less likely to quit if they feel they are only harming themselves, however if you can prove to them that they are in fact also putting their wife, children or even unborn baby at risk by lighting up then this may have a much more influential effect.
Tackling the UKs smoking problem is no easy task but figures such as these show that we are starting to address and deal with a very serious problem. Hopefully we are heading towards a smoke free world where smoking related diseases are nothing but a long distant memory.
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