From: Public Health England
Tobacco commissioning support 2019 to 2020: principles and indicators
Updated 4 October 2018
1.1 The Tobacco Control Plan
In July 2017, the government published its Tobacco Control Plan for England, to pave the way for a smokefree generation. The comprehensive plan sets out the following national ambitions for achievement by the end of 2022.
13.2 There is mixed evidence on the benefits of outdoor smokefree spaces
The health impacts of outdoor secondhand smoke are contested. Exposure to secondhand smoke outdoors can be high in some conditions (a high density of smokers, enclosed outdoor locations, low wind and close proximity to smokers).
There is very limited UK research available about the effectiveness of smokefree outdoors as they are less widely adopted here than internationally. Evidence from other countries suggests that levels of support can vary considerably according to type of place and respondent’s personal characteristics.
Attitudes towards smokefree outdoor places do not necessarily translate into behaviour change. Compliance can be low, even when a policy is mandatory. There is some evidence for positive effects on behaviour where some reductions in smoking prevalence have been seen in student populations following the introduction of a smokefree campus.
There should be a clear distinction between smoking and vaping. E-cigarettes can be helpful for abstinence from smoking and could be encouraged in places where smoking is prohibited.
More evidence is needed. If local smokefree outdoor policies are implemented, rigorous, peer reviewed evaluations will help to develop this.