Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Time to Embrace Smoke-Free Trend

Academic journal article Journal of Environmental Health

Time to Embrace Smoke-Free Trend

Article excerpt

After recently returning from a vacation trip to England and Wales, I could not help but think about how widespread the trend towards smoke-free public places has become.

Wales just became smoke-free on April 1, and England and all its pubs will go smoke-free on July 1. They will join Ireland, Scotland, and Italy, which already are smoke-free, and France, which will become smoke-free on January 1, 2008.

I found it interesting that some of the stories I heard on my trip were quite similar to what I heard in Madison after the air quality of restaurants and bars instantly improved following our own ban. One bartender from Wales told me he quit his 30-40 per day cigarette habit because the ban made it so much easier for him to quit.

I saw no one smoking indoors in Wales, and to my great surprise, the smoking in the English pubs was minimal, even though they are allowed to smoke until July 1.

When I asked the English bartenders how people are taking the pending change, they told me it is not a big deal-people understand that it's coming.

Another surprise was the frequent positive media messages about the coming changes. The media actually focused on the positive aspects of this major cultural change and health initiative, rather than the negative. …

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