Press Release

Improvement in pubs experienced by 70% of population

Support for smoke-free unwavering

Results of a survey, commissioned by the Department of Health and Children, show continuing strong public support for the smoke-free at work measure introduced on 29th March, 2004. The survey of 1,000 people was carried out recently by Lansdowne Market Research.

The figures, released today (11th August), show that of those surveyed:

  • 82% support the Smoke-Free at Work measure;
  • 90% agreed that going smoke-free is of benefit to workers;
  • 82% agreed that it benefits everyone in public places;
  • 95% agreed that the legislation is a positive health measure.

The survey reported a positive response in relation to socialising in smoke-free hospitality venues with a majority of people confirming that the new smoke-free legislation improved their experience in pubs (70%) and restaurants (78%).

Over half of respondents (53%) indicated that they would be more inclined to eat in a pub since March 29th.

The Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin, TD, welcoming the results said; “despite well-publicised stories on some venues and individuals failing to comply with the measure, the figures confirm the continued strong public support for working and socialising in smoke-free environments.”

The Minister continued; “There are still those who are trying to discredit what is commonly known as the smoking ban, but this negative approach has not affected the positive views of most people on this important public health issue. This measure is primarily about the health and safety of workers and the public. People recognise passive smoking as a significant health and safety issue. The facts on smoking and the damage caused by second-hand smoke are well established”

The Minister paid tribute to the responsible and co-operative approach to the new smoke-free workplace requirements shown by employers, particularly in the hospitality industry, employees and the public in the successful introduction of this important public health measure.

He stated that he is pleased with the high level of compliance with the smoke-free at work measure and is confident that people will continue to support this important health and safety legislation.

The Office of Tobacco Control also welcomes the finding in this research that 95% of the Irish public agree that the smoke-free workplace legislation is a positive health measure and highlights the fact that second-hand smoke causes fatal diseases.  Recently published research in the British Medical Journal found that the increased risks of coronary heart disease from second-hand smoke (at 50-60%) had previously been greatly underestimated.

The OTC also confirmed that the 82% support level for the legislation itself largely coincides with the outcomes of the Office’s own research.