Key points Successful attributes of the workplace smoking ban campaign
strong clear health message
strong political support and commitment
trade union support
unified approach of all tobacco-control agencies
To highlight the role of chest physicians in tobacco control.
To present the important elements in achieving the workplace ban.
To review some of the outcomes of the ban, including the impact on respiratory health.
Summary Tobacco control is arguably the most important health intervention of our time, and it is appropriate and important that chest physicians play an active role in this process. Smoking is the main cause of COPD and lung cancer, and is important in asthma. Its clear role in infections of both children and adults is such that there are very few respiratory physicians whose work is not affected by smoking. The workplace ban in Ireland is an example of a successful intervention with immediate beneficial respiratory health outcomes and, in all likelihood, enormous long-term benefits. This review examines the processes in the formation of a national tobacco control policy which supported the implementation of the ban and also reviews the effectiveness of the intervention, in particular with regard to acute respiratory health.
- ©ERS 2007
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