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Smoking rate at "all-time low" across North Yorkshire

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This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of all workplaces in England and Wales becoming smokefree.

And North Yorkshire County Council says the Health Act, which enforced the ban, has helped to cut smoking rates to an all-time low across the region, with only 13% of people smoking in North Yorkshire.

They say it's also "set the scene" for further smokefree legislation, including plain packaging, banning smoking in cars, limits on displaying tobacco and prohibiting sales of tobacco from vending machines.

The Health Act, which came into force in 2007, outlawed smoking in workplaces including pubs and restaurants. At that time, an extra 300,000 smokers were inspired to make an attempt to quit as the law came into force.

The Health Act was one of the most important public health reforms in generations. Ten years on, support for the legislation is very high, and thousands of individuals have been protected from the deadly effects of second hand smoke.

The passing of the Health Act has helped to cut smoking rates to an all-time low, with only 13% of people smoking in North Yorkshire. It has also set the scene for further smokefree legislation, including plain packaging, banning smoking in cars, limits on displaying tobacco and prohibiting sales of tobacco from vending machines.

However, there is still work to do to achieve our ambition of a smokefree generation by 2025. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable premature death, and there are still around nine million smokers in the UK. Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health and to protect those around you.

– County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health