A new study has found that countries with public smoking bans have seen a dramatic increase in the health of children.
The research, published in medical journal The Lancet, shows that premature births and asthma-related hospital admissions fell by 10% within a year of anti-smoking legislation being introduced.
Ireland became the first country in the world to prohibit smoking in public places, with this week marking the 10 year anniversary.
In Ireland, former football player Gerry Collins has been fronting a TV campaign to encourage people to quit smoking.
Collins tells viewers: “I wish I was an actor because then I’d be an actor acting about dying. The reality is I’m not an actor and I’m dying from cancer as a result of smoking.”
Sadly, Mr Collins, 57, died three weeks ago. His daughter Lisa said her father would be pleased that the smoking ban has made such a big difference.
Consultant paediatrician in Dublin Dr Turlough Bolge, said: “The secondary effects of parents not smoking as much because they’re not allowed to smoke in work or in social situations and that then translating into them not smoking in the home – that’s the effect we’re witnessing now.”
The new research also shows that countries with anti-smoking laws are collectively saving over £4bn a year in medical costs.
Mr Collins’ final television campaign advert for Ireland’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) finishes with: “I’ll miss my kids. I’ll miss being there when they might need me.”