IT’S ten years today since the smoking ban came in.

Smokefree legislation brought in by Tony Blair was made law on July 1, 2007.

It made it illegal to smoke inside bars, clubs, restaurants and all public places and offices.

The new law was met with protests by smokers with many predicting it would kill the pub trade.

But ten years on most have adapted and one in Leeds recently announced it was banning smoking outside as well.

Health campaigners are celebrating the 10th anniversary of smoke-free legislation in England

The Myrtle Tavern in Meanwood has outlawed smoking in its beer garden to make it more family friendly for the summer.

In 1974 almost half of adults smoked, but now, fewer than one in five do.

The smoking ban has helped many quit their addiction to cigarettes, with official figures showing a dramatic decline in smoking rates across Yorkshire.

The last few years have seen the steepest drop in numbers, down from 21.9% in 2012 to 17.7% in 2016.

In Kirklees smoking rates are higher than many places with 16.8% of adults still smokers, compared to the England average of 15.5%.

Anti-smoking charity ASH, has celebrated the improvements but warned their is much more to do.

Director of Policy Hazel Cheeseman said: “Smoking prevalence is at an all-time low in Yorkshire but smoking remains the leading cause of preventable premature death, responsible for half the difference in life expectancy between the rich and the poor.”

Scott Crosby, Regional Tobacco Control Policy Manager at Smokefree Yorkshire and the Humber, added: “We’ve come a long way in ten year.

“With support for action growing even among smokers I hope that the next ten years will bring us closer to achieving a smokefree generation in Yorkshire and the Humber.”

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England, praised the phenomenal success the legislation has brought.

He said: “The Smokefree legislation has been extraordinary in the way we now experience and enjoy pubs, clubs, restaurants and so many other public places.

“Young people have not had to experience the smoke filled bars and clubs that once choked their parents and workers.

“They’ve grown up in a world where smoking is no longer socially acceptable.

“The law has played a key part in the huge cultural change we have seen in the past decade, especially among younger people, a change that has literally saved thousands from disabling chronic diseases and premature death.

“The Smokefree legislation was undoubtedly the single most important public health reform in generations.

“The UK now has the second lowest smoking rates in Europe.

“However, while there is much to be positive about, large gaps still exist between the richest and poorest areas – with the highest rates over five times greater than the lowest.

“While these gaps persist there is still much work to be done, but these latest figures give us real hope.

“It’s now hard to believe that back in 1974 almost half of adults smoked.

“But now an end really is in sight and we have a real opportunity to virtually eliminate all the harm, misery and death caused by smoking.”


The smoking ban was the first of ten pieces of government action on tobacco.

Smokefree legislation – illegal to smoke in an enclosed public place (2007)

Increase in the legal age of sale of tobacco to 18 (2007)

Introduction of graphic health warnings on packs (2008)

Ban of sale of cigarettes in vending machines (2011)

Introduction of 2% above inflation tax on tobacco (2011)

Ban on display of tobacco in shops (2012/2015)

Offence for people to buy tobacco for under 18s (2014)

Ban of smoking in cars with under 18s present (2015)

Introduction of standard packaging (2016/17)

Introduction of minimum pack size (2016/17)