SUBMISSION FROM DR KIA SOONG TAN, CONSULTANT CHEST PHYSICIAN, WISHAW GENERAL HOSPITAL
Do you support the general principles of the Bill and the key provisions it sets out?
I think it is vitally important that we reduce smoking in Scotland. I see many patients whose health has been blighted by smoking. Although it has taken a long time to recognise the ill-effects of smoking on health, the side-effects of second-hand smoking are only just realised. It is estimated that secondhand smoke accounts for about 1000 deaths per year in Scotland. In addition, secondhand smoke can exacerbate those with asthma or other chronic respiratory condition. Importantly, secondhand smoke adversely affects the health of children. For example, secondhand smoke causes asthma, bronchitis and pneumonia in children.
Are there any omissions from the Bill that you would like to see added?
I would prefer to see a Bill which covers all enclosed public spaces, not just those where food is served. People who work in public houses and nightclubs where food is not served will still be forced to work in smoky atmospheres and suffer the consequences.
What are your views on the quality of consultation, and the implementation of key concerns?
It is important that the consultation should be as far-reaching and inclusive as possible. It is vital that the Bill should be sufficiently detailed to avoid potential loop-holes.
Have you any comment on the practical implications of putting these provisions in place and the consideration of alternative approaches?
Unfortunately, air-conditioning and air filtration systems are insufficient to deal with secondhand smoke. Segregation of smoking and non-smoking areas has to be properly done so as not to allow for contamination of non-smoking areas.