It more or less covers the four areas on which the Department of Health had commissioned research as part of the promised three year review mentioned in the Health Act 2006.
List of research commissioned by the DepartmentSo when you read it, remember that - running to 23 sides - it works out at just over £41,000 per page. For that money, it must be the dog's cojones then, surely. Well, I suppose that depends on how you would define the word 'significant'.
Impact of smokefree legislation in England on individuals and communities: qualitative longitudinal study.
Bar Workers’ Health and Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure (BHETSE)
Evaluating the impacts of smokefree legislation using secondary data
Smokefree - feasibility study - secondary analysis of data relating to the hospitality sector
Let's examine how such a word is treated in Linda Bauld's 'evidence review', shall we? On page 11, it states.
[...] new evidence has recently been published on the impact of smokefree legislation on reducing hospital admissions for myocardial infarction (MI) – heart attacks (Sims et al, 2010b).Pause for a moment while we check the reference on page 22.
Sims M, Maxwell R, Bauld L and Gilmore A (2010b) The short-term impact of smokefree legislation in England: a retrospective analysis on hospital admissions for myocardial infarction. British Medical Journal, 340, DoI: 10.1136/bmj.c2161.Err, is that the same 'Bauld L' who has written this review? I think you'll find that, yes. Yes, it is.
So what does the study authored by well-paid tobacco control warrior Linda Bauld, referencing a study co-authored by, err, career anti-smoking advocate Linda Bauld, say on the subject?
As part of a Department of Health funded study assessing trends in key health outcomes, an analysis of Hospital Episode Statistics was conducted to explore the impact of smokefree legislation on admissions for MI.Very modest of Linda not to mention her involvement in it, don't you think?
The study examined emergency admissions from July 2002 to September 2008 and so included 15 months of post-legislative data. The analysis adjusted for secular and seasonal trends and also variations in population size. It found a statistically significant reduction (−2.4%) in the number of admissions for MI following the implementation of smokefree legislation.And here, courtesy of VGIF, is what a 'statistically significant' reduction looks like.
Stark, isn't it?
Elsewhere in the document, we find something quite different.
Impact on the Hospitality IndustryAnd what do insignificant statistics look like?
Annual Business Inquiry data were only available to 2008 at the time the scoping study was conducted. These data showed that turnover fell in 2007 for bars but not for restaurants or hotels.
Data on consumer spending showed some signs of a small decline in the third quarter of 2007 in the period following the introduction of smokefree legislation, but the size of this fall did not reach statistical significance.
UK Pub Closures 2004-2009
After rubbing my eyes at reading this stuff, I had to check that I hadn't misunderstood the definition of significant. An unnoticeable change in the trend for heart attack admissions - for which there are hundreds of contributory factors - is described as definitely caused exclusively by the smoking ban. Whereas a dramatic and unprecedented increase in pub closures - for which there are, at most, five theoretical causes - is deemed inconsequential despite the ban being the only one which fits perfectly.
Here is what the dictionary says on the word.
significant adj \sig-ˈni-fi-kənt\Nope, I haven't got it wrong, Linda Bauld really is telling us that black is white, and vice versa.
a : having or likely to have influence or effect : important; also : of a noticeably or measurably large amount
b : probably caused by something other than mere chance
No wonder the report cost so much - superlative bullshit from a world class leader in the field doesn't come for buttons, does it?