UK: Scotland

Smokefree legislation/initiatives

Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce smokefree legislation on 26 March 2006. It prohibits smoking in all enclosed or wholly enclosed public places and workplaces. Designated smoking rooms are not allowed. There are a few exemptions such as residential accommodation, including communal areas such as stairwells), designated rooms in psychiatric hospitals and care rooms, designated hotel rooms.

The Smoking, Health and Social Care Act (2005) is aimed at protecting the general public from exposure to secondhand smoke at work and in public, and prohibits smoking in enclosed or wholly enclosed public places and workplaces.
Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005
Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 – Regulations
The Prohibition of Smoking in Certain Premises (Scotland) Regulations 2006

Preparation for smokefree legislation

A National Consultation was carried out in 2004. Members of the public and organisations were asked to complete and return a questionnaire. The majority of respondents (82%) thought that further action needs to be taken to reduce people’s exposure to second-hand smoke. 80% of respondents would support a law that would make enclosed public places smoke-free. 56% did not think that there should be any exemptions if a law was introduced. The general public and the hospitality sector tended to focus on pubs, clubs and restaurants in terms of exemptions, organisations also referred to long-stay care facilities, prisons and workplaces that are also homes of looked after individuals.

In January 2004 the Scottish Executive (Government) published a tobacco control action plan ‘A Breath of Fresh Air for Scotland: Improving Scotland’s Health – the Challenge’. The plan set out a range of measures to strengthen tobacco control, including preventing exposure to secondhand smoke.

ASH Scotland published ‘The unwelcome guest: how Scotland invited the tobacco industry to smoke outside’ in 2005. The report shows how the smokefree campaign was won. It describes how campaigners learned to combat tobacco industry arguments and tactics, using the experiences of other countries. It in turn acts as a guide for campaigners in countries wanting to introduce smokefree legislation.

The Scottish Executive (Government) supported smokefree legislation and worked with organization such as ASH Scotland to achieve it.
Scottish Coalition on Tobacco – a multipartner alliance working on tobacco control including promoting smokefree

For more information on the campaign visit The Global Smokefree Partnership at

Enforcement and compliance

Compliance with the law is high – it was never less than 95% in the first nine months.
A low cost compliance phoneline was introduced when legislation came into effect, but only for one year.
Enforcement is the responsibility of the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland
Cigarette litter has been the only negative aspect of compliance with the law, as smokers smoke outside pubs and restaurants.

A new study, in press, of bar workers in Scotland has revealed that both smokers and non-smokers have experienced health benefits as a result of smoke-free legislation. The study confirms that the Scottish smoke-free legislation has resulted in improvements in the respiratory health for the majority of bar workers and that air quality in pubs can have an impact on respiratory health. (ASH Scotland 11 Feb 09).

Smokefree resources available in 2009

Clearing the Air website
ASH Scotland

First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Health Service Food and Human Resources: Online wholesale cigarettes shop

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