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Reflections on the 10th Anniversary of the introduction of the Smoke Free Law in England (Part 4) The Event

The Smoke Free Law in England came into force on 1st July 2007. Hilary Wareing; Ian Gray and Paul Hooper of iPiP’s Tobacco Control Collaborating Centre had various connections with the development and implementation of the law we have now.

These are our further reflections.

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Although welcomed by the popular press, for what was ‘…the single biggest improvement in public health for a generation’ (Caroline Flint, Minister of State for Public Health) it was a bit of an anti-climax. No riots on the streets as predicted by the Tobacco industry!


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Compliance with the law in the first month was exceptionally good



‘Voluntary compliance is the key to success of the prohibitions on smoking. It will also minimise the need for enforcement activities and costs to regulators and businesses.  For voluntary compliance to work effectively, the smoking ban needs to be straightforward, clear and well communicated so that businesses and members of the public understand it fully.’

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Although we are recalling our contributions to the success of the law. The people that made it work were the smokers themselves. Without their cooperation and understanding the whole thing could have been very different.


Read about what happened next in part 5










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