NI launches passive smoking study ahead of smokefree laws

In collaboration with the Press Association

Northern Ireland's Health Promotion Agency (HPA) has announced that it is recruiting volunteers for a major study of passive smoking ahead of the launch of smokefree laws.

The new legislation prohibiting smoking in public places will come into effect in the province on April 30th, ahead of similar laws in England on July 1st.

The HPA said it hopes to recruit 500 non-smokers who currently share their home with a smoker in order to measure passive tobacco-exposure in the long-term.

The study will be conducted by researchers from Edinburgh's Institute of Occupational Medicine, who will measure trace amounts of nicotine in the air of the homes.

Dr Brian Gaffney of the HPA told the BBC the study would help inform the agency on how best to target information to maximise the health benefits of the new laws.