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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:
Commenting on the findings, Health Minister Andy Kerr
Dr Peter Terry, Chairman of BMA Scotland said:
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
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
10 February 06
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.
8 November 05
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
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
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
* The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005
17 December 04
Health Minister Andy Kerr
described the Smoking, Health and Social Care Bill as the most important
piece of public health legislation in a generation.
"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
The Bill lists the kind of premises which are capable of being prescribed as "no-smoking" under the regulations.
These are premises which are:
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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