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Smoking ban saves 'thousands of children' from illness

The smoking ban has been hailed as a success Credit: NIKKI SHORT / AAP

Tens of thousands of children have been spared illness and lung infections as a result of the smoking band in England.

The 2007 law that made it illegal to smoke indoors in public places has meant that 11,000 fewer children are hospitalised each year, according to a study. The sharpest falls were seen in the most deprived children.

Dr Carlos Jimenez-Ruiz, from the European Respiratory Society, said: "The findings of this new study add more weight to the argument that smoke-free legislation is a valuable tool in reducing the health harms of smoking, particularly in children."

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Public smoking debate sparked by London park report

Medical officials have called for London's leading landmarks and parkland to become smoke-free in a bid to improve the health of the capital.

There was support in Trafalgar Square today for the tourist traps to force visitors to permanently stub out their cigarettes and cigars.

But others, including Mayor Boris Johnson, were reluctant to see London join other major cities in tightening its smoking rules, as ITV News Correspondent Lewis Vaughan Jones reports.

  1. London

Former Olympics minister backs London smoking ban

Former Olympics minister Dame Tessa Jowell today called on Boris Johnson to introduce a smoking ban in London's parks.

Boris Johnson and Dame Tessa Jowell Credit: PA

Dame Tessa is regarded as a potential Labour candidate for City Hall in 2016.

A new report has urged to make parks and open spaces like Trafalgar Square smoke-free zones.

But Johnson appeared hesitant, saying there needed to be clear evidence it would save lives.

The Mayor must adopt Lord Darzi’s proposals for smoke free parks in full. We need to make the healthier choice the easier choice for Londoners. The Mayor has a proposal sitting at his feet which could mark the start of a serious public health crusade in the next decade in London.

As Lord Darzi’s report states, every week two classrooms of London children take up smoking. Every year, 8,400 Londoners die from smoking – the number one cause of preventable deaths in our capital city. He must seize this opportunity to build a coalition of support across our city to tackle London's shocking health inequalities.

It is also crucial that the Mayor accelerates his plans to improve air quality, every year over 4,000 Londoners die prematurely due to poor air pollution. He has less than two years left as Mayor, but it is not too late for him to leave a legacy of public health improvement for our great city.

– Dame Tessa Jowell
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