Stillbirths have dropped by almost 8% in England since the smoking ban was introduced, new research shows.
The number of babies dying shortly after birth has also dropped by almost 8%, according to the study.
A team led by Edinburgh University looked at information on more than 10m births in England between 1995 and 2011.
The findings suggest that almost 1,500 stillbirths and newborn deaths were averted in the first four years after the law to prohibit smoking in public places was enacted on July 1, 2007.
Researchers also assessed the impact of the smoking ban on the number of babies born with a low birth weight, which is linked to health issues in later life.
More than 5,000 fewer babies were born with a low birth weight of less than 2.5kg, the study estimates.
Smoking and exposure to smoke during pregnancy are known to have long-term adverse effects on the health of unborn children.
Research has previously shown that rates of premature births have dropped significantly in countries where smoke-free legislation has been introduced.
The number of children being admitted to hospital for asthma attacks and severe respiratory infections has also fallen. The research is revealed amid calls for the ban to be extended to the outside areas of restaurants, pub gardens and schools.
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