The Government is facing renewed calls to finalise a date for the English smoking ban, after medical research revealed that the health of Scotland's bar workers has improved dramatically since the introduction of ban north of the border.
Researchers at Dundee University found significant health improvements in the first two months after the March ban.
The team from the university's asthma and allergy research group began testing bar workers in and around Dundee in February, a month before the ban came into force.
Daniel Menzies, from the research group, said the number who showed smoke-related symptoms fell from more than 80% to fewer than half in just two months.
"Our study shows that, across a number of health indicators, positive changes were evident even in the first two months following the introduction of the smoking ban, which is a very rapid change," he said.
Following publication of the results, in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) called on the Government to name a precise date for the introduction of an English ban.
Chief executive of BHF Peter Hollins said: "This study provides compelling evidence that making workplaces smoke free can have a significant and speedy impact on people's health."
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By Daniel Thomas
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