Impact of Scottish smoke-free legislation on smoking quit attempts and prevalence


Mackay DF, Haw S & Pell J (2011) Impact of Scottish smoke-free legislation on smoking quit attempts and prevalence. PLoS ONE, 6 (11), Art. No.: e26188.

OBJECTIVES: In Scotland, legislation was implemented in March 2006 prohibiting smoking in all wholly or partially enclosed public spaces. We investigated the impact on attempts to quit smoking and smoking prevalence. METHODS: We performed time series models using Box-Jenkins autoregressive integrated moving averages (ARIMA) on monthly data on the gross ingredient cost of all nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) prescribed in Scotland in 2003-2009, and quarterly data on self-reported smoking prevalence between January 1999 and September 2010 from the Scottish Household Survey. RESULTS: NRT prescription costs were significantly higher than expected over the three months prior to implementation of the legislation. Prescription costs peaked at £1.3 million in March 2006; £292,005.9 (95% CI £260,402.3, £323,609, p<0.001) higher than the monthly norm. Following implementation of the legislation, costs fell exponentially by around 26% per month (95% CI 17%, 35%, p<0.001). Twelve months following implementation, the costs were not significantly different to monthly norms. Smoking prevalence fell by 8.0% overall, from 31.3% in January 1999 to 23.7% in July-September 2010. In the quarter prior to implementation of the legislation, smoking prevalence fell by 1.7% (95% CI 2.4%, 1.0%, p<0.001) more than expected from the underlying trend. CONCLUSIONS Quit attempts increased in the three months leading up to Scotland's smoke-free legislation, resulting in a fall in smoking prevalence. However, neither has been sustained suggesting the need for additional tobacco control measures and ongoing support.

PLoS ONE: Volume 6, Issue 11

Publication date30/11/2011
Date accepted by journal16/11/2011
PublisherPublic Library of Science

Research programmes

Research centres/groups

Research themes