A study by researchers from Imperial College in London showed that the 12 percent decrease took place in the first year after the law to stop smoking in enclosed public places came into force in 2007.
The authors say there is growing evidence that many people are opting for smoke-free homes as well.
Researchers looked at figures of the National Health Services (NHS) going back to April 2002. They found that the number of children admitted to hospital with severe asthma attacks was rising by more than two percent a year before the restrictions were introduced in July 2007.
Taking that into account, they calculated that the decrease in admissions in the next 12 months was 12 percent, and a further three percent in each of the following two years. They say over the three-year period, this was equivalent of about 6 800 admissions.
Before the implementation of the new regulation, critics said that smokers banned from smoking in public areas will light up more at home, harming the health of their families. But the authors of this study say there is growing evidence that more people are insisting on smoke-free homes.
“We increasingly think it’s because people are adopting smoke-free homes when these smoke-free laws are introduced and this is because they see the benefits of smoke-free laws in public places such as restaurants and they increasingly want to adopt them in their home,’ said the lead researcher, Prof Christopher Millett, in a BBC News report.
These findings reinforce evidence on the impact of smoke-free legislation from studies in North America and Scotland, which also showed a fall in hospital admissions for children with severe asthma attacks.
Source: BBC News