New research has added weight the theory that the public smoking ban cuts premature births.
The research looked at data from 600,000 births and pinpointed three consecutive drops in babies born before 37 weeks, each coinciding with the implementation of various phases of the smoking ban.
The British Medical Journal also noted that there had been no previous evidence of this pattern prior to the ban, leading researchers to theorise the legislation may have had a direct effect on the premature birth rate.
This new evidence strengthens previous research carried out in Scotland, which showed a similar pattern.
While scientists were unable to unequivocally confirm a link between the smoking ban and preterm birth, they are satisfied that it ‘supports the theory’.
Dr Tim Nawrot, who led the study has commented, “Because the ban happened at three different moments, we could show there was a consistent pattern of reduction in the risk of preterm delivery.”
“It supports the notion that smoking bans have public health benefits even from early life.”