Select Committee on Health First Report

Annex 1: Monitoring and evaluation

The Government's monitoring and evaluation strategy should include the following:

  • Use of the Health Survey for England to monitor changes in non-smokers' exposure at the level of the whole population. The Survey has recorded cotinine levels in the population of England for the past ten years, and analyses have already been made of the changes in non-smokers' exposure over that time. Saliva sampling for cotinine should therefore be retained as a core part of the Health Survey for England.
  • Before-and-after studies of exposure to SHS in the workplace, especially in pubs, with both food and non-food pubs adequately represented in the sample. An analogous study has been carried out in the Republic of Ireland and reported in the British Medical Journal.[141] Such studies should highlight the differential impact of the legislation on workers in food and non-food pubs, as well as the overall benefit of smoke-free legislation.
  • Studies of the economic impact of the legislation.
  • Surveys of public opinion to gauge the level of support for smoke-free legislation. The ONS Omnibus Survey, sponsored by the Department of Health, currently includes questions assessing public opinion on this matter every year in October/November, but the Omnibus is conducted monthly, allowing more frequent tests to be made.
  • Checks on compliance, to monitor whether the legislation is being observed; how many breaches are recorded; whether the food provisions are being circumvented by the provision of take-aways or nearby food outlets, as some have suggested may happen.
  • Checks to establish how many licensed premises (1) stop serving food in order to allow smoking to continue (and the socio-economic characteristics of the areas in which they are situated) and (2) go out of business altogether.
  • Monitoring of national smoking prevalence to see if there is any evidence of an impact (and a comparison with the 1.7% decline projected by the Regulatory Impact Assessment). This could also be done through the Omnibus Survey.

141   Shane Allwright, G. Paul et al., Legislation for smoke-free workplaces and the health of bar workers in Ireland: before and after study, British Medical Journal, vol 331, pp 1117-19 Back

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