An economic case for smoke-free work and public places is being made today in an independent report from the Chief Medical Officer.
Specially commissioned research shows that a smoking ban would boost business for the hospitality industry, rather than harm it, says the report.
The Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, argues that a "major plank" of the argument against smoke-free public places and workplaces is removed by the study.
Sir Liam's third annual report provides an assessment of a number of issues where he believes significant improvements in health can be achieved by sustained action. The report also examines:
- The dangers of smoking and skin ageing - a mix of wrinkles, damaged blood vessels and bad skin colouring known as "smoker's face"
- Better blood transfusion - making the process safer and more focussed
- More focus on academic medicine - the need to take advantage of increased government investment in research and development
- Earlier detection of HIV infection - a third of those infected are unaware of their infection and cases have increased by 126 per cent since 1996
In his foreword, Sir Liam said:
"By working together on the themes in this and previous Annual Reports we can improve the health of our country and make the quality of care experienced by NHS patients even better."
Chief Medical Officer's have been taking stock of the nation's health and highlighting major challenges since 1858.