A study conducted in Glasgow has linked a reduction in the number of premature and low birth weight babies with the ban on smoking in public places introduced into Scotland in 2006.
These findings suggest that the introduction of national, comprehensive smoke-free legislation in Scotland was associated with significant reductions in preterm delivery and babies being born small for gestational age. These findings are plausible and add to the growing evidence of the wide-ranging health benefits of smoke-free legislation, and support the adoption of such legislation in other countries that have yet to implement smoking bans.
There are lots of reasons why babies are born premature or with low birth weight but smoking has long been known as a key preventable reason for this. Given how important a predictor low birth weight is for future health this is a result really worth celebrating – but not with a cigar !