Survey shows 98% in favour of smoking ban


A survey to mark the first anniversary of the smoking ban has found that 98 per cent of people believe workplaces were healthier because of the ban, including 94 per cent of smokers.

The tns/mrbi survey found 96 per cent of people believed the law was successful, including 89 per cent of smokers.

The research showed compliance levels with the ban were high across all sectors, with a 93 per cent compliance in hotels, 99 per cent in restaurants and 90 per cent in licensed premises.

In a One Year Review report due to be published by the Office of Tobacco Control tomorrow, inspection data from the National Tobacco Control Inspection Programme shows in the first nine months since of the ban, 94 per cent of premises inspected were compliant with the law.

A total of 34,957 inspections/compliance checks were conducted up until the end of December last year. The Health and Safety Authority are also due to announce an average 92 per cent compliance rate from 7,500 inspections into the smoke-free workplace legislation.

Minister of State for health promotion, Sean Power, said the figures were testament to the effective policing and enforcement of the ban.

Mr Power said the Irish experience should be a signal to the rest of the world of what can be achieved.

"The Irish public's overwhelming acceptance of this historic public health measure sends a very clear message to legislators around the world who are considering the introduction of similar smoke-free workplace legislation," he said.

"Not alone is it very possible to implement such legislation but citizens fundamentally accept its validity and necessity in order to protect their health."

Health and Safety Authority chairman, Mr Jim Lyons said the first nine months of the smoke-free law were a resounding success.

"With average compliance levels increasing steadily from 90% at the end of May, to 91% at the end September, and nearly 92 per cent at year end, employers have responded extremely well in building compliance and they have shown a great willingness to achieve smoke-free workplaces," he said.

"We are seeing very high levels of co-operation on our inspections, which reflects the goodwill and positive approach that employers and employees have taken to this important health measure."