Scottish bars healthier since the smoking ban

Cancer Research UK

An overwhelming 92 per cent of Scottish bar staff say their workplaces are healthier since the introduction of the smoking ban six months ago - according to an opinion poll commissioned by Cancer Research UK published today (Monday).

And more than three quarters (78 per cent) of those surveyed believe that the legislation will benefit their health in the long term.

To celebrate the success of the ban, Cancer Research UK is re-launching the iconic poster campaign that welcomed the introduction of the historic law in March. The revamped posters show the stubbed out cigarette crushed into the shape of Scotland but bear the new message ‘Smoke-free and saving lives’ underneath. The image will appear on poster sites, in press and on buses.

Professor Gerard Hastings, Director of Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Tobacco Control Research at Stirling University, said: “This is great news. The survey results show that, in just six months, the people of Scotland are already reaping the health benefits of the going smoke-free.”

Even bar workers who smoke are overwhelmingly positive about the health effects of the new law with 89 per cent reporting that their work environment is now healthier because of it, and 69 per cent believing that it will benefit their health in the long term.

Professor Hastings added: “By protecting people from secondhand smoke and helping smokers to quit, Scotland’s smoking ban will save many thousands of lives in the next decade."

The survey also shows that more young people than older people think the ban is benefiting their health. Eighty-two per cent of 18-29 year olds compared to 67 per cent of those over 50 years believe their workplace is now much healthier. This echoes previous research that found that young people are most proud of Scotland leading the way on smoke-free legislation**.

More than 500 bar workers from across Scotland took part in the opinion poll. There were no significant regional differences in terms of whether bar workers felt healthier since the ban*.

Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, Professor Alex Markham, said: “Scotland should be proud of having moved so fast to embrace smoke-free legislation. While the rest of the UK plays catch up, Scotland has led the way in showing how to ensure a smoke-free future.

“Most smokers want to quit. And the ban gives them a golden opportunity to stop smoking for good.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact Sophy Fitzpatrick on 020 7 061 8318 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.

A high-resolution image of the poster is available to download by clicking here.

Notes to Editor

The survey was carried out on behalf of Cancer Research UK by IFF Research who conducted 545 interviews with bar staff throughout Scotland. Interviewing took place on the 30 and 31 August 2006.

Q1* Thinking about the recent smoking ban that is now in force, do you feel that your workplace is a healthier or unhealthier environment since the ban was introduced?

All 18-29 yrs 50+yrs Strath-clyde Gallo-way & Boarders Lothian Central Fife Tay-side Gampian High-lands, Western Isles

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

Much healthier

76

82

67

76

70

77

73

75

82

80

Slightly healthier

16

13

25

15

19

19

20

19

12

13

No different

6

3

6

8

9

2

8

6

4

6

Slightly unhealthier

*

-

-

-

-

1

-

-

-

-

Much unhealthier

1

1

*

1

-

-

-

-

-

1

Total healthier

92

96

92

91

89

96

92

94

94

93

Total unhealthier

1

1

-

1

-

1

-

-

-

1

Base:

545

175

102

164

54

91

51

52

50

83

* Less than half of one per cent.

Q2* How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements about the smoking ban? - ‘The smoking ban will have long term benefits on my health’.

All Strath-clyde Gallo-way Lothian Central Fife Tay-side GrampianHigh-lands, Western Isles
% % % % % % % %
Strongly agree 53 57 44 51 49 42 60 47
Tend to agree 24 24 26 29 22 29 14 28
Neither agree nor disagree 5 5 2 5 2 10 6 6
Tend to disagree 8 7 15 7 12 6 16 7
Strongly disagree 7 4 13 9 16 12 2 12
Total agree 78 81 70 79 71 71 74 75
Total disagree 15 11 28 15 27 17 18 19
Base: 545 164 54 91 51 52 50 83

**A Cancer Research UK survey published on 14 March 2006 showed that 84 per cent of 18-24 year olds think that ‘a smoke-free Scotland is something to be proud of’ compared to 79 per cent overall. For more information visit our press release archive

Cancer Research UK’s Reduce the Risk campaign

Half of all cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle. Cancer Research UK's Reduce the Risk campaign highlights five important ways you can lower your cancer risk:

  • Stop smoking
  • Stay in shape
  • Eat and drink healthily
  • Be SunSmart
  • Look after number one

About Cancer Research UK

  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK carries out world-class research to improve understanding of the disease and find out how to prevent, diagnose and treat different kinds of cancer.
  • Cancer Research UK ensures that its findings are used to improve the lives of all cancer patients.
  • Cancer Research UK helps people to understand cancer, the progress that is being made and the choices each person can make.
  • Cancer Research UK works in partnership with others to achieve the greatest impact in the global fight against cancer.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 7009 8820 or visit Cancer Research UK's website.