The smoking ban, one year on, Health Committee to take evidence on it's impact

05/02/2007

Evidence of the effectiveness of Scotland ’s ban on smoking in public places will be considered tomorrow (Tuesday, 6 February, 2007 ) by the Parliament’s Health Committee.

Almost one year after the introduction of the ban, the committee will take evidence from Health Minister, Andy Kerr, and leading professionals to monitor the impact of the legislation.

The Smoking, Health and Social Care ( Scotland ) Act, was approved by the Scottish Parliament on 30 June, 2005, and took effect on 26 March, 2006. The legislation aimed to reduce the impact of smoking in Scotland.

In addition to taking evidence from the Health Minister, the committee will hear from Professor Jon Ayres, University of Aberdeen, and Dr Laurence Gruer, Director of Public Health Science, NHS Health Scotland.

Professor Ayres is head of the Bar Workers’ Health and Environmental Tobacco Smoke Exposure (BHETSE) Study which has been examining the impact of the ban on bar workers throughout Scotland.

Dr Gruer is Chair of the Smoking Prevention Working Group set up by the Scottish Executive to look at the various strategies to prevent the take up of smoking by young people, and will be focussing on the Working Group’s report, “ Towards a Future Without Tobacco” - published on 21 November 2006.

Committee Convener, Roseanna Cunningham, said:

"With the anniversary of this landmark ban approaching, this is an ideal time to see if it is having a positive impact on the health of people in Scotland . We need to know how effective this ban has been, and if there is already evidence to demonstrate improvements in public health.

"However, we are also keen to learn if there is any evidence of unforeseen circumstances such as increased smoking at home.”

The hearing will take place in Committee Room 1 at 2 pm on Tuesday 6 February, 2007.

Background

The Smoking, Health and Social Care ( Scotland ) Act was approved by the Scottish Parliament on 30 June, 2005.

The Act banned smoking in "no-smoking premises" by:

  • creating an offence of permitting others to smoke in no-smoking premises;
  • creating an offence of smoking in no-smoking premises;
  • creating an offence of failing to display warning notices in no-smoking premises;
  • setting out the powers of enforcement officers to enter no-smoking premises; and
  • creating an offence of failing without reasonable cause to give one's name and address on request by an enforcement officer.

The ban took effect on 26 March, 2006.

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