|It has been 10 years since it became illegal to smoke in pubs, clubs, work places and the health of Wiltshire’s residents has greatly improved in that time.
Fewer than three in every 20 adults now smoke in the county, compared with more than four in 20 before the ban was introduced. Due to this, the number of smokers dying from smoking related disease in Wiltshire is falling, with the number of smoking related deaths from stroke and heart disease down by 25% since 2007.
Tracy Daszkiewicz acting director of public health at Wiltshire Council, said: “The introduction of smokefree public places has been one of the most significant pieces of public health legislation in recent history. However if we are to continue to improve the overall health of people in Wiltshire, more needs to be done to prevent our young people from starting to smoke, to protect babies and children from the dangers of smoking, and to encourage current smokers to quit.”
Last year Wiltshire Council’s public health team supported 39 town and parish councils to erect smokefree signage in children’s play areas, sending the clear message that smoking around children is not acceptable behaviour. The signage designed by children asks people not to smoke near them. These signs are recognised as being more effective than signs simply telling people not to smoke.
Jerry Wickham, cabinet member for public health said: “We would like to encourage as many community areas as possible to introduce voluntary smoking bans in open public areas such as sports fields and other green spaces where children play. There is also evidence to indicate that third hand smoke, which is made up of the toxic particles found on smokers’ clothes, can have a detrimental effect on a baby’s health. So I would ask that anyone who works with children or who has a young family not to smoke as it damages their long term health and development.”
Recent data has shown that nationally the number of smokers aged 35 and over dying from heart attacks and other cardiac conditions has dropped by over 20% since 2007, while fatalities from strokes are down almost 14%.