England smoking ban cuts children hospital admissions

Thousands of children may have been spared serious illness and admission to hospital by the smoking ban in England, research has shown.  The law making it illegal to smoke in public indoor places saw 11,000 fewer children being admitted to hospital each year with lung infections, the study found.

Researchers analysed more than 1.6 million hospital admissions of children aged 14 and under across England between 2001 to 2012.

They found that the introduction of the smoking ban in 2007 was followed by an immediate reduction of 13.8 per cent in the number of admissions for lower respiratory tract infections.

Admissions for upper respiratory tract infections also decreased but at a more gradual rate. The sharpest falls were seen in the most deprived children.

BBC report

Reference: Been, Jasper et al. Smoke-Free Legislation And Childhood Hospitalisations For Respiratory Tract Infections European Respiratory Journal (2015): ERJ-00146-2015. 29 May 2015.

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Pictorial health warnings on the packaging of tobacco products

The World Health Organisation has published Evidence brief: how large pictorial health warnings on the packaging of tobacco products affect knowledge and behaviour. This briefing shows that combined written and graphic health messages on the packaging of tobacco products are more effective than text-only warnings. Studies have shown that pictorial health warnings increase quit attempts and decrease smoking uptake.  Pictorial health warnings, including graphic, fear-arousing information, have proven to be particularly effective.