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11 February 06
Impact Of Smoking Ban In Highlands Revealed By new statistics

  • 49% of people in the Highlands are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke

  • 37% of non-smokers in the Highlands are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke

  • 58% of people in the Highlands exposed to second-hand smoke are bothered by it

  • 18% of smokers in the Highlands exposed to second-hand smoke are bothered by it

With just a matter of weeks to go until the ban on smoking in enclosed public places comes into force, in order to protect people from passive smoking, newly released statistics from the Scottish Executive's Scottish Health Survey has found that just under half (49%) of people in the Highlands are regularly exposed to potentially deadly second-hand smoke. In addition to this 58% of people in the Highlands exposed to second-hand smoke are bothered by it, as well as 55% of former smokers and surprisingly 18% of current smokers.

With research indicating that passive smoking kills up to 1000 lifelong non-smokers in Scotland each year, as well as leading to lung cancer, heart disease and a range of respiratory diseases, the statistics indicate the extent of the protection that will be offered by the smoking ban from 26th March. The ban includes the likes of workplaces, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes and work vehicles.

Second-hand smoke, containing more than 50 cancer causing chemicals, has been classified as a known human carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency in the US. California was recently the first US state to classify second-hand smoke as a toxic air pollutant, putting drifting smoke in the same category as diesel exhaust fumes.

Key findings of the research:

  • Just under half (49%) of people in the Highlands are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke

  • Just over a third (37%) of non-smokers in the Highlands are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke

  • 13% of those in the Highlands are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke at work

  • 29% of those in the Highlands are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke in the pub

  •  20% of non-smokers in the Highlands are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke in the pub

  • 58% of people in the Highlands exposed to second-hand smoke are bothered by it

  • 55% of former smokers in the Highlands exposed to second-hand smoke are bothered by it

  • 18% of smokers in the Highlands exposed to second-hand smoke are bothered by it

Commenting on the findings, Health Minister Andy Kerr said:
"The case for reducing exposure to second-hand smoke to improve health is indisputable. In Scotland, second-hand smoke is associated with up to 1000 deaths a year among lifelong non-smokers. Scotland will become smoke free in enclosed public places from 26th March, our country's health and productivity will improve, and the incidence of smoking related disease will fall as a result".

Dr Peter Terry, Chairman of BMA Scotland said:
"In Scotland, smoking related illnesses accounts for 35,000 hospital
admissions each year, costing the NHS an estimated £200 million. This is the financial cost of tobacco, but the human cost is much greater. Every day, doctors see the devastating effects caused by exposure to tobacco smoke. From next month, smoke free enclosed public places in Scotland will heighten the awareness of the dangers of tobacco and improve health."

Dr Jean King, Director of Tobacco Control for Cancer Research UK said: "The fact that half the people in the Highlands are regularly exposed to potentially deadly second-hand smoke is truly alarming. Scotland will lead the rest of the UK when it goes smoke free on 26th March and the new law is the most important public health message for a generation, protecting people, particularly workers, from exposure to second-hand smoke. Evidence from abroad also shows that going smoke free will help smokers quit, so this legislation will help make Scotland a much healthier nation".

HIGHLAND COUNCIL SMOKING BAN
When members of the public visit any Highland Council office or property in the New Year they will benefit from a totally smoke-free environment. From Sunday 1st January, 2006 a complete smoking ban comes into effect in all Council premises and vehicles.

As the major employer in the Highlands, the Council is demonstrating its clear commitment to public health and to improving the health of its 12,800 employees by implementing the ban, ahead of the Scottish-wide ban which takes effect from 26th March, 2006.

No smoking signs are being erected at entrances and throughout all Council owned and leased premises including vehicles; where appropriate. Smoking rooms will no longer be available. Employees and visitors will not be permitted to smoke at entrance doorways and approaches to Council premises.

Alistair Dodds, Director of Corporate Services, said: "The Council is wholly committed to improving the health of our staff and improving the working environment and as the biggest employer in the area we want to set a good example. Given the very clear link between smoking and ill health we are implementing this complete ban on smoking. Anyone visiting our offices and premises will benefit from the new smoke free environment that we are working in.

This will also prepare our staff for the ban that will be imposed nationwide from 26th March.

"We appreciate how difficult it will be for some people to stop smoking and that is why we have written to every member of our staff to advise them of our policy and of the help that is available to them in kicking the habit."

Copies of the Council’s Smoking Policy can be found on the internet Here

Smoke Free Scotland
Information about the bill to eradicate smoking in public places

Click To Quit

Giving Up Smoking

Action On Smoking and Health (ASH)

NHS Stop Smoking Service

Green Facts On Smoking

10 February 06
NHS highland Brings In Smoking Ban Ahead Of New Laws

Wednesday 8 March is National No Smoking Day and this is when NHS Highland’s new Tobacco Policy will come into effect. This will ensure that NHS Highland is acting in accordance with the legislation of the Smoking Ban in public places which comes into effect on 26 March.

There will be no smoking permitted anywhere within NHS Highland premises. This will include doorways and entrances to buildings. The only exceptions , in accordance with legislation, will be in relation to Psychiatric Units. These exceptions will be clearly identified where applicable.  The delivery of Tobacco Control and Smoking Cessation Services is a key priority for the NHS and an allocation of £224,000 per annum over 3 years will support the work of NHS Highland’s Tobacco Strategy and the delivery of two health improvement targets in the NHS Highland’s Corporate Objectives. “The targets are basically to reduce rates of smok-ing in adults, with a particular focus on deprived communities and smoking during pregnancy,” explained Janet Williams, Health Promotion Specialist for Tobacco. “Our Strategy proposes a number of actions around: implementing tobacco prevention and education through the Health Promoting Schools; developing a network of smoking cessation advisors; targeting services on priority groups including adults and pregnant women in deprived areas; and implementing our NHS Highland Tobacco Policy and supporting staff to stop smoking.” Janet reported that work is well underway to fill the Smoking Cessation Advisor posts and that 15 Pharmacists are now providing smoking cessation services across Highland.

NHS Highland Tobacco Strategy And Action Plan
2005 - 2008

8 November 05
Businesses and organisations called to clear the air for a healthier Scotland
Detailed guidance, developed in consultation with the business community, is being sent out to businesses and organisations by the Scottish Executive, providing information on how they should prepare for the smoking ban.*

On 26th March 2006 the law on smoking in Scotland will change, with smoking no longer allowed in the majority of enclosed public places, including workplaces. The law has been introduced to protect people from the harmful effects of passive smoking and has implications for employers and employees in workplaces, clubs, pubs, restaurants, hospitals and schools across Scotland, including vehicles.

Passive smoking currently claims the lives of up to 1,000 lifelong non-smokers in Scotland every year and is linked to lung cancer, heart disease, respiratory conditions and strokes.

The aim of the guidance is to make sure that every business and other public place, classed as 'No Smoking' under the new law, is ready when the ban on smoking takes effect at 6am on Sunday 26th March 2006. The guidance pack being sent out contains information on:

* Why the law is being introduced
* Places where the new law will apply, and those not included
* How to comply with the new law
* No smoking signage for premises and vehicles
* Enforcing the new smoking law
* Guidance on composing a smokefree policy

Scottish entrepreneur and Dragons' Den star, Duncan Bannatyne, who has given his backing to the smoking ban said: "I welcome the forthcoming ban on smoking in enclosed public places and congratulate the Scottish Parliament on this brave decision. My support is both in a personal and a business capacity. Personally, I am aware of the damage to health that breathing in other people's cigarette smoke does, as well as the disgusting smell left behind on clothes".

He added: "From a business point of view, a smoking ban is clearly a positive thing, as witnessed in Ireland and New York. None of my business interests have been harmed by no smoking policies and the forthcoming ban in Scotland will contribute to a healthier, forward thinking Scotland, which can only be a good thing."

In light of the new law, employers should consider how the legislation might affect their business or organisation. Employers and managers will have responsibility to ensure premises and staff meet all the requirements of the new law, taking reasonable precautions to ensure that employees, customers and visitors are aware of the legislation and do not smoke on their premises.

All relevant premises will have to display 'No Smoking' signs that are
clearly visible, and samples of the signs required to comply with the new law are in the pack, with further copies downloadable from
www.clearingtheairscotland.com   A poster with brief guidance for bar and waiting staff is also enclosed for those business that provide a service for customers or members.

Scottish Health Minister, Andy Kerr said: "This is the most important piece of public health legislation in a generation and it is vital that all businesses, large and small, ensure their premises, staff and customers comply with the legislation. The Scottish Executive will work closely with the business community to ensure the legislation is implemented as smoothly as possible."

He added: "We are confident that the majority of people support the new law and will respect it, as they have in Ireland. In addition, we will also be undertaking a comprehensive public awareness campaign in the run up to implementation to strengthen compliance".

The law will be enforced by local authority Environmental Health Officers, who will be able to give out fixed penalty notices to anyone who is committing, or has committed, an offence. Failure to take necessary measures could see employers and managers liable to a fixed penalty of £200 if they do not take reasonable action to prevent someone smoking on the premises, or if they do not provide adequate 'No Smoking' signs. Individual offenders who contravene the law could also be liable for fixed penalty fines of £50.

If a guidance pack is not received, or further information is required, please log onto www.clearingtheairscotland.com
which also contains a section on frequently asked questions and case studies of businesses that have gone smokefree. Alternatively, email: info@clearingtheairscotland.com  ,
telephone: 0131 244 5660, fax: 0131 244 2606, or write to: Scottish Executive Health Department, Tobacco Control Division, St Andrew's House, Edinburgh EH1 3DG.

* The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005

March 2005
NHS Highland Smoking Cessation Service

New smoking cessation service. The service provides smokers with free confidential advice and support to stop smoking. Specialist smoking cessation advisers based in Caithness, Ross-shire, Inverness and Lochaber will be providing smokers with one to one and in some areas group support to quit, including the use of Nicotine Replacement Therapy. For more information about the help on offer in Highland, call NHS Highland Health Information Service on Lo-call 0845 757 3077

17 December 04
Scottish Parliament Introduces No Smoking Bill
A Bill published today aims to improve Scotland's health record by banning smoking in enclosed public places in order to protect people from the effects of second hand smoke.

Health Minister Andy Kerr described the Smoking, Health and Social Care Bill as the most important piece of public health legislation in a generation.
He said: "Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of premature death in Scotland and wreaks a terrible havoc on families across the country.

"Every day 35 Scots die before their time because of smoking related diseases. This is our 35 a day habit and we have got to kick it.

"The case for reducing smoking and exposure to second hand smoke to improve health is indisputable.

"This the most important piece of public health legislation in a generation. And we will deliver for the sake of future generations who'll be able to breathe clean air where ever they go.

"That's what this is all about. And why all of us must work hard to make this happen.

"It's time to clear Scotland's air so that we can all look forward to a brighter, healthier future.

"The majority of Scots don't smoke - 70 per cent - and of those who do smoke 70 per cent want to give up. This ban will give individuals the opportunity to cut down or stop and we will help them. It will also give their children and grandchildren the opportunity to grow up with less pressure to smoke.

"This will be a comprehensive ban that will cover all enclosed public places - including all licensed premises. Improvement of public health cannot and will not stop at the door of the public house."

The Minister also announced the remit and membership of the Smoke Free Areas Implementation Group who will help deliver this on the ground.

Mr Kerr said: "To deliver this on the ground we must work with those who will be responsible for delivering and enforcing the ban. This group will be key in advising me on what work needs to be done to make this a reality."

A public information website - www.smokefreescotland.com  - that explains the detail of the proposed introduction of smoke free public places also went live today.

Mr Kerr said: "It is vitally important that we keep the people of Scotland informed of our plans and progress to deliver a better health for all by introducing smoke free public places. The web site will detail the background and progress on this and other work we are doing to reduce the scourge of tobacco addiction on our country."  The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill will introduce a ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

It will also include legislation to introduce free eye and dental checks for all, measures to simplify the charging process for NHS dentistry and provisions to create a new contract for NHS pharmaceutical services.

The Bill makes provisions for a ban on smoking in enclosed premises which are prescribed in regulations as 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
• Creating an offence of failing to give their name and address on request by an enforcement officer.

The Bill lists the kind of premises which are capable of being prescribed as "no-smoking" under the regulations.

These are premises which are:
wholly enclosed and to which the public or a section of the public has access which are being used wholly or mainly as a place of work by persons who are employees
which are being used by and for the purposes of a club or other unincorporated association
which are being used wholly or mainly for the provision of education, health or care services
Any exemptions will be agreed and defined within regulations following discussions with interested parties - for example those who run hospices and long-term care homes.

The National Smoke Free Areas Implementation Group will advise the Executive on the implementation of smoke free areas.

This will include the development and implementation of an international marketing campaign to promote Scotland as a changing and healthy country and support required for particular industry sectors to help them take advantage of the marketing/business opportunities.

 

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