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Home > Ireland's smoking ban is an admirable achievement.

The Editor. (2005) Ireland's smoking ban is an admirable achievement. The Lancet, 365, (9467), p. 1282.

Gaggles of dejected smokers huddled together outside pubs are now a common feature of Ireland's streets since the country banned smoking in all work places a year ago. The sight of so many individuals in voluntary exile prompted health minister Michael Martin to proclaim that the ban had helped breed “a new kind of dating”, predicting that couples would find happiness through a common commitment to nicotine. But regardless of whether the ban is, as Martin suggests, the architect of a new social phenomenon, it certainly seems to be laying the groundwork for a genuine improvement in health.

Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern revealed at the beginning of March that more than 7000 smokers were estimated to have quit during the past year; Benson and Hedges say this trend is mirrored in cigarette sales in Ireland, which have fallen by 8% since the ban came into force. Although it is too early to speculate whether these changes have led to a lasting effect on the nation's health, evidence from the Medical Association of California—where smoking in all public places has been banned since 1998—suggests that lung cancer rates have declined far faster in California than in states without smoke-free laws. And last month's report by the British Medical Association—Smoke-free Europe: reviewing progress, prescribing action—implies that this success should be expected elsewhere.....

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Article
Drug Type
Tobacco / Nicotine
Identification #
Page Range
p. 1282
Corporate Creators
The Editor
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
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