SUBMSSION BY KERRY MACKENZIE
Prohibition of Smoking in Regulated Areas (Scotland) Bill introduced in the Scottish Parliament on 3 February 2004.
Call for Written Evidence
Do you support the general principles of the Bill and the key provisions it sets out?
The Bill is the first step of a process that aims to protect people from the harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke and to support a step change in attitudes and behaviour in Scotland in relation to smoking. The evidence of harm to babies, children and adults as a result of passive smoking is overwhelming in terms of asthma, childhood infections, heart disease and lung cancer. A legislative approach to increase smokefree provision is now required to protect Scotland's children, young people and communities from passive smoking.
Are there any omissions from the Bill that you would like to see added?
The Bill addresses its stated objective of "preventing people, including children, from being exposed to the effects of passive smoking in public areas where food is being supplied and consumed." The Scottish Executive should be banning smoking in all public places and workplaces, not just where food is supplied and consumed. Scotland is ready to adopt the approach taken by countries like Ireland.
What are your views on the quality of consultation, and the implementation of key concerns?
Passive smoking is a key public health issue and as such the twin objectives of health protection and health improvement must take precedence over moral or economic views.
Have you any comment on the practical implications of putting these provisions in place and the consideration of alternative approaches?
The voluntary approach to smoking restrictions has not been effective in terms of protecting people from the harmful effects of ETS and a legislative approach is necessary. The Bill will make a significant contribution to getting the message across that smoking is unacceptable and anti-social and also to influencing smoking behaviour. Implementation must be accompanied by an appropriate health promotion campaign highlighting the risk of ETS. Recent surveys in Scotland found that the public's understanding of the true risk of ETS is poor, particularly among smokers. This highlights the need to further inform and educate people about the effects of passive smoking on everyone, especially children1.
1 NHS Health Scotland and ASH Scotland. Reducing Smoking and Tobacco-Related Harm: A key to transforming Scotland's Health' 2003. Edinburgh. NHS Health Scotland