Asthma UK responds to research on the positive impact of smoking bans on child health

Research published in the Lancet this week has found that childhood chest infections needing hospital care may have dropped by as much as 20 percent since anti-smoking laws were introduced.

The research, led by the University of Edinburgh and the Erasmus University Medical Centre in the Netherlands, shows that implementing six tobacco control policies has had a substantial positive effect on child health, and these policies need to be implemented comprehensively across the world.

The findings add to previous evidence that tobacco control policies are associated with reductions in hospital admissions for asthma attacks among children and have also helped to cut rates of premature births.

Dr Erika Kennington, Head of Research at Asthma UK, said: “We welcome the findings of this research which shows that the tobacco control policies are working in terms of improving people’s health.

“Smoking, or being around other people smoking, makes asthma worse by causing permanent damage to the lungs. In the short term, it can also lead to asthma symptoms and even a potentially life-threatening asthma attack.

“Children with asthma who have parents, or other family members who smoke, are at much greater risk of wheezing, coughing and asthma attacks.

“Giving up smoking is a vital step in not only managing your own asthma, but making sure your child with asthma stays safe and well.”

You can find further advice and top tips on quitting smoking at

The full release is viewable here.


Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact the Asthma UK media team on, 020 7786 4949 (during office hours) or 07951 721393 (outside of office hours).

The Asthma UK Data Portal is a new online tool for journalists to explore trends in asthma outcomes across the UK. Information on asthma facts and statistics can also be found on our website.

About Asthma UK

  • In the UK, 5.4 million people are currently receiving treatment for asthma: 1.1 million children (1 in 11) and 4.3 million adults (1 in 12).
  • Every day, the lives of three families are devastated by the death of a loved one to an asthma attack, and tragically two thirds of these deaths are preventable.
  • Asthma UK’s mission is to stop asthma attacks and cure asthma. We do this by funding world leading research, campaigning for improved care and supporting people to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.
  • The Asthma UK Helpline is open weekdays from 9am to 5pm on 0300 222 5800.
  • For more information about asthma please visit