SUBMISSION FROM MACMILLAN CANCER RELIEF
General principle of Bill and key provisions
Macmillan Cancer Relief is fully supportive of the general principles of this Bill and its
key provisions. With 90% of lung cancers and 30% of all cancers caused directly by smoking, Macmillan as an organisation and through Macmillan postholders, sees at first hand the impact of tobacco smoke on people in Scotland. We are fully aware of the impact of smoking on coronary heart disease, stroke, pregnancy, cot death, asthma, ear infection etc, but will leave it to others to comment on these. There is conclusive evidence that second-hand smoke contributes to these problems.
The principle of legislation is sound, as the voluntary charter has not worked (and indeed
has not worked in any country in the world). The voluntary charter is also founded on false principles as (a) ventilation systems do not adequately remove cancer-causing chemicals, and (b) separation of a space for smokers is shown to be ineffective in protecting people from the effects of second-hand smoke (unless they are physically isolated from smoking areas).
With 7 in 10 Scottish pubs and bars permitting smoking throughout, the time has come for action through legislation and political leadership.
The general context is that Scotland has amongst the highest rates of lung cancer in the
world and the lowest survival rates. The cultural change implicit in the Bill means that this will have a direct impact on quantity of cigarette consumption by smokers and on smoking cessation rates, as it will assist smokers to give up, if the experience in other countries is replicated in Scotland. This will directly impact by reducing deaths from lung cancer and other diseases.
We see this Bill as one step in a number of measures addressing the prevalence of
smoking and, in particular, ensuring that for the first time this gives precedence to the views of those who wish to breathe air free from tobacco smoke. Consequently, this should be a major step in changing the culture of Scotland to one where smoking is not a social norm. With 70% of people being non-smokers, this seems entirely reasonable.
We accept that passive smoking in other workplaces will not be affected by this
legislation. However, studies have shown that hospitality workers have a 50% higher risk of lung cancer than the general population, and therefore this is the highest priority group of workers to be protected.
Macmillan would prefer to see a ban on smoking in all enclosed public places and workplaces, but accepts this Bill as an important first step.
Quality of consultation and implementation of key concerns
Is ventilation a useful tool in combating ETS and therefore an alternative?
It has been conclusively shown and accepted by the Executive that ventilation does not remove the risk from passive smoking.
Impact of voluntary charter
With only 11% of premises complying with the voluntary charter, this has been shown to be a failure. Given that some of the measures in the voluntary charter do not protect people from the adverse effects of passive smoking, continuation of this voluntary approach is illogical.
Smoking restrictions in restaurants and / or pubs
There is no defence against continuing to expose workers in the hospitality industry to the high level of risk to which they have conclusively been shown to be exposed.
Financial impact on trade, tourism and health
There is no evidence from similar legislation round the world of any adverse impact on trade from independently funded studies. The most recent evidence from New York is showing an increase in employment and tax revenue.
Implementation of the legislation
The timescale is a matter for political judgement, but the `Big Bang' approach, as in the Republic of Ireland, certainly produces an impact, but being clear about the date on which any measure comes into force in various settings must be well publicised. This assumes that it will be preceded by a public education campaign.
Breaches of the legislation
This is quite clearly articulated in the explanatory notes. Compliance has not been found to be a major issue in other countries. The previous experience in, say, London Underground or London Transport does demonstrate isolated pockets, but enforcement is easier in static premises, as experience in New York and in the Republic of Ireland has recently demonstrated.
Support for legislation
The issue about a public information campaign is fundamental, as we are talking about cultural change.
Overall view on the quality of consultation and the implementation of key concerns
In Macmillan's view the quality of the consultation was excellent. As an organisation that is fully supportive of this approach, we are aware that key concerns on business impact raised by the Licensed Trade Association could not be conclusively allayed. The key issue for Macmillan is what the Executive decides is the priority. We maintain it has to be to protect workers in the hospitality industry and non-smokers' rights in support of health policy, as opposed to a hypothetical impact on business which would be the first such time that legislation would have produced a negative effect.
Comments on the practical implications of putting provisions in place, and the consideration of alternative approaches
Air treatment systems
These do not work, and this is accepted by the UK Government and the Scottish Executive.
Prohibit smoking in all public places
This would be our preferred solution, but we accept that this is a stage on the way.
Maintain status quo
Given that 100 people are dying from the effects of other people's smoke every year in Scotland, this is not acceptable. Public attitudes to smoking continue to demonstrate that there is a growing acceptance of this amongst the public, with independent polls showing more than 70% in favour of action.