© Rajesh Kumar/AP
I’m getting on a bit so it doesn’t seem long since I was sharing a bar, sipping a pint, alongside several folk puffing away. I can still remember everything having to go in the wash reeking of smoke. Who knows what damage was done to the lungs of the poor bar staff. So, it’s heartening to hear just how successful the Scottish Government taking the initiative in the UK, two years ahead of England, to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces has been. Dr Garth Reid, Principal Public Health Adviser at NHS Health Scotland said:
‘The evidence shows the positive impact of tobacco policy, ranging from the display ban which put tobacco out of sight in small shops and supermarkets to the introduction on smoke free NHS grounds.’
Here are two of the main results applauded by NHS Scotland:
- second hand smoke exposure fell from 11% to 6% between 2014 and 2015;
- smoking rates have fallen from 31% in 2003 to 21% in 2015.
Here are the actions that were taken by the Scottish Government in 2005:
- Tobacco products in supermarkets and shops have been put out of sight and there is an associated reduction in cigarette brand awareness among young people.
- There has been a substantial decrease in the proportion of children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home (down from 11% to 6%).
- The ‘Take it Right Outside’ campaign was successful in raising awareness of the harms of smoking.
- Smoke-free NHS grounds policies have been introduced.
- There has been a small increase in the number of pregnant women stopping smoking using tailored NHS stop smoking services.
This is a government that seems to care more about its people than about the corporations so its hopefully only a matter of time before they win the right to impose minimum prices for alcohol and we can look forward to hearing of research into the beneficial consequences of doing so. Alcohol-related deaths are currently on the increase in Scotland. See: