Good news – smoke-free public places reduce stillbirths and infant deaths 2

Research from Edinburgh University, released today, finds the “Smoking ban linked to drop in stillbirths and newborn deaths”

Now of course smoking hasn’t actually been banned, but this joins an existing body of evidence that excluding tobacco smoke from enclosed public spaces produces measurable and significant health benefits.

Researchers led by the University of Edinburgh looked at information on more than ten million births in England between 1995 and 2011. They found that stillbirths have dropped by almost eight per cent in England since smoke-free public places came into force, with the number of babies dying shortly after birth also dropping by almost eight per cent.

These positive findings shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy is a proven risk. Tobacco smoke contains a dangerous cocktail of toxins which can interfere with the pregnancy, depriving the unborn child of nutrients and oxygen and sadly leading to an increased risk of adverse outcomes.

Although the study took place in England, with the same process taking place in Scotland we can reasonably expect that similar benefits have been delivered here too.

It’s not a new message but it’s worth repeating – smoke-free enclosed public places have been a fantastic, and popular, success.



  1. Getting some queries on Twitter over this. If people want to check the research it can be found here – and gives clear conclusion that:

    “we estimated that in the first four years following smoke-free legislation, 991 stillbirths, 5,470 cases of low birth weight, and 430 neonatal deaths were prevented”

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