Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce the smoking ban, and its positive results are already being seen in our future generations.
Since implementing the smoking ban as part of the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill on the 26th March 2006, the number of preterm deliveries has dropped by over 10 per cent.
The study led by Jil Pell from the University of Glasgow, published in this week’s PLoS Medicine, collected information on premature births and small birth weight deliveries in all babies born between January 1996 and December 2009.
Results found that there was a significant drop – from 25.4 per cent pre smoking ban to 18.8 per cent post smoking ban – of mothers who smoked during their pregnancy.
Along, with the 10 per cent fall in the number of premature births, researcher also found that the number of infants born small was reduced by five per cent.
Importantly, the authors found that these significant reductions occurred both in mothers who smoked and those who had never smoked, emphasizing the impact on health of second-hand smoke.
According to the authors, although survival from preterm deliveries has improved, these infants are at risk of developing long-term health problems and state "Any intervention that can reduce the risk of preterm delivery has the potential to produce important public health benefits.
"The results of our study add to the growing evidence of the wide ranging health benefits of smoke-free legislation and lend support to the adoption of such legislation in countries where it does not currently exist.”