5 percent of workers gave up smoking when the anti-tobacco law took effect

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A pioneering study, carried out by the Society of Prevention of Ibermutuamur (accidents and diseases mutual insurance for Social Security professionals) analysed the consumption of tobacco in the working populating during the first months of application of Law 42/2010. This law extended the smoking ban to all enclosed public spaces, including bars and restaurants.

Between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2011, the development of the percentage of smokers and tobacco consumption in a sample of 413,473 workers of all ages and occupations was assessed. The conclusions are published this month in the journal Revista Española de Salud Pública.

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“The results suggest that the enforcement of the law has accompanied a progressive reduction in the percentage of smokers and the consumption amongst the working population” Carlos Catalina-Romero, expert in tobacco-smoking and clinical psychology in Ibermutuamar explained to SINC.

Specifically, the overall percentage of smokers decreased by 5% amongst workers who attended a medical check-up throughout the study period (from 40.3% to 35.3%).

Furthermore, amongst workers who continued to smoke, there was a decrease in the amount of tobacco consumed. This applies to men and women of all ages and occupations.

Catering workers, which are one of the groups protected against exposure to environmental tobacco smoke in the workplace for the first time, are also benefiting from the collateral impact on consumption.

“Our data suggests that progressive strictness of the smoking ban in public places is an extraordinarily useful measure in the fight against the tobacco epidemic in our country” the expert points out. “The most important factors in giving up tobacco are regulatory and fiscal policies”.

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