Recent figures suggest Gloucestershire has one of the highest levels of smoke-free compliance anywhere in the country.

The figures submitted from all six local authorities in Gloucestershire show an extremely high level of people and premises stubbing their cigarettes out. As a whole, Gloucestershire made 3204 visits to businesses between July 1st – September 30th, returning smokefree premises of 99.75% and signage compliance at 82.8%.

And around England, the national picture is also very strong, with nationwide compliance reported at 97.8% for smokefree premises, and 83.3% of premises displaying the required signage.

Lizzie Willis, a Smokefree Enforcement Officer, explained how keen people were to follow the new rules:

“We have had to issue a few verbal and written warnings, but so far haven’t needed to issue any fines – in fact the vast majority of people are enjoying the new legislation.”

Cabinet member for Housing and Health, Andrew Gravells said:

“Being an ex-smoker myself I understand how difficult it is to break the habit. I want to thank both the residents and businesses of Gloucester for their cooperation and efforts to make the new no smoking law a success. Gloucester has adapted extremely well and has become a healthier city in which to live, work and socialise.”

“These results are very good news for the county”, said Shona Arora, Director of Public Health.

“In the year following Scotland’s smokefree legislation, hospital admissions due to heart attacks were halved,” she said.

“If we can achieve similar successes we will have moved a long way to improve public health within the County”.

Tim Dowan, the county’s smoke free liaison officer, added:

“Gloucestershire’s businesses have embraced the new laws and taken a very positive approach to the changes, but, while we are very happy with the results, we can’t afford to be complacent.

“Winter is coming and people could be tempted to light up inside to protect themselves from the elements. However, we will continue to be vigilant and remind people that anyone found smoking in a place where they shouldn’t is likely to receive a fine of £50 and anyone allowing smoking in a place required to be smokefree could receive a fine of up to £2500.”

Kate Gegg of Gloucestershire Smoking Advice Service added:

“People are fed up with having to nip outside for a cigarette; we have a team of professional stop-smoking specialists who are ready and waiting to help them stop.”

You can contact Gloucestershire Smoking Advice Service on 08454 22 00 40 or contact Tim Dowan, Smokefree Public Places Liaison Officer, on 07985 126601