Bans on smoking in public become more commonplace

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 07 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:723

The following four page report shows that there is a growing international trend in restricting smoking in public, writes Simon Chapman. However, bans are not always strictly enforced, and compliance depends largely on public awareness of the harmful effects of passive smoking

The term passive smoking first appeared in the research literature in 1974, when Walter Holland's group at St Thomas's Hospital in London reported in the Lancet that exposure to ambient tobacco smoke in homes was associated with increased respiratory disease in children. Four years later the Roper market research group advised its client, the US Tobacco Institute: “This we see as the most dangerous development to the viability of the tobacco industry that has yet occurred.” How prescient this advice …

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