The review authors conclude:
|Results from the studies conducted in England show benefits for health, changes in attitudes and behaviour and no clear adverse impact on the hospitality industry. |
We strongly disagree with these findings.
Our main objections are:
Incomplete and irrelevant studies are used to assess all three areas, appallingly so in evaluating the impact of the ban on hospitality venues.
Dr. Linda Bauld's team may not have had time to properly research their subject, but others have:
We question the impartiality of a team lead by, and including, dedicated anti-smoking activists, some of whom provide the sources upon which this review is based.
Whilst the assessment of smoke exposure, health improvements and behavioural change may reasonably be ascribed to health authorities, Dr. Linda Bauld
has no expertise
in the hospitality market, and every interest in finding it undamaged by the smoking ban.
The cynical timing of this paper, to coincide with publication of the Government's White Paper on Tobacco Control, strongly suggests that the Review findings played little, if any, part in formulating the policies described within the White Paper. Minds were already made up.
For example, evidence that...
|...some older men and women with children reported that they had curtailed social activities and experienced a sense of loss of the pleasures of socialising in bars and cafés where they could smoke with friends. |
...was clearly ignored in the desire to 'drive down smoking rates'.
In effect, the Government's acceptance of this review is an affront to all those who are compelled to give up either smoking or socialising, and to an increasingly beleaguered hospitality industry.
This 'Evidence' Review is based on nothing of the kind and serves only to justify the continued erosion of our adult leisure pursuits by Public Health.