True believers and a bit of a sinking feeling
I suppose that if you were someone who believed that smoking was the principal cause of cancer, heart disease, bronchitis, COPD, typhoid, cholera, dysentery, plague, etc, etc, you were probably expecting something almost miraculous after the smoking ban was introduced. Doctors’ surgeries would empty, hospital wards would become vacant, undertakers would go bust, crematoria would close down, and cemeteries would fall out of use, and everyone would be visibly leaner and fitter, with old people sprinting around everywhere.
Have there been any health gains at all, never mind “huge” health gains? I know that periodically there’s a new Heart Attact Miracle trumpeted somewhere, and it makes a few headlines (which is all that is wanted), before being revealed as a fraud (which doesn’t make headlines). Apart from that, people just seem to be getting sick and dying just like they always used to.
Anyway, if there have been any few health gains, there have been plenty of losses, in the form of broken communities, bankrupted pubs, and economic stagnation.