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SP Paper 263


Petition to Ban Smoking in Public Places

We, the undersigned, declare that: In order to prevent ill health and disease caused by passive smoking and also in order to contribute to the improvement of public health, smoking should be banned from all public places in Scotland.

The petitioners therefore request that the Scottish Parliament: Introduce a relevant law or laws to make it an offence to pollute public places through the smoking of tobacco or cigarettes.

We, the petitioners present this request in the knowledge that there is much research available to the public supporting our claim that passive smoking can seriously damage health. The bodies which support our view include ASH and QUIT


Submission by Beth Fiddes

If the bill is passed then a portion of the public will be very unhappy. It could and will start arguments among the public. It will not stop people from smoking, if they want to smoke they will. Most people smoke when they are upset or stressed, take the ability to smoke away from them and you’ll have a very depressed country on your hands.

The bill is to hard to enforce and if you want it to work then get your system sorted. You would need to hire a special team to enforce it. The bill is more trouble than it’s worth! Would you authorise shop keepers and teachers to hand out fines? You don’t have the officers to waste time asking “were you smoking?” all day every day.

To stop the passive smoking problem simply put a wall down the middle of the restaurant and make one half smoking and one half non-smoking. The bill will not go down well with the smoking half of the public. If you ban smoking you won’t get as much money from the cigarettes.

Submission by Shona McDonald

I am writing to you concerning the matter of the prohibition of smoking in regulated areas. I do support this bill and I think it is a good idea. Passive smoking is a dangerous thing and non-smokers shouldn’t be put at risk of the dangers and diseases of second-hand smoke. Banning this is a reasonable thing to so and it means non-smokers can enjoy a mean without smelling smoke.

I think the only other area that should be added is perhaps a supermarket because fresh food is being supplied. I also think it will be quite difficult to enforce but after a couple of months, smokers will hopefully see why this is being enforced. I personally don’t like people smoking around me because not only does it make me feel sick, it is also dangerous.

I think the only way to protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke is to ban smoking from all public places.

Thank you for taking the time to read my letter and I hope some of this will be taken into consideration.

Submission by Niall Rundle

I am writing to you in connection with the Prohibition of smoking in regulated areas (Scotland) bill. I personally am strongly supportive of the bill, as I believe that it will improve the quality of health in Scotland.

I am a strong believer that this bill should be passed. If the before mentioned bill is passed it is my belief that it will make the decline of smoking speed up. Though I agree with the bill I think it will be very difficult to enforce as there are too few police to deal with any slakers. And I also think there should also be a ban on smoking in shops, public parks and museums.

I would like to thank you for reading my letter.

Submission by Lisa-Ann Grant

I am writing to you to tell you about why I think that the bill should be passed. I think it should be passed for many reasons like it can cause many serious diseases like mouth cancer, lung cancer and emphysema. I also think it is the smokers choice to hurt themselves but it is unfair to hurt others through passive smoking. Passive smoking also hurts pregnant woman it can damage the unborn baby causing it to become ill or even die.

It should also be banned in all shopping centres because the cigarettes could cause fire and it would be hard to get a large amount of people out of the building. It may be hard to enforce this if it becomes law but every body will get something out of this.

I hope you will consider this letter and thank you for reading this letter.

Submission by Sofiane Kennouchie

I am writing to tell you that I am disappointed about the smoking problem. I am a child that would like a ban to be placed on public smoking. I am fed up having smoke blown into my face in restaurants. I think that a ban should be in place. It may be hard to enforce, but the end result would be well worth it. Also, if this ban was made law, more restaurants would have this ban, and the smoker might consider quitting because there is hardly anywhere else to go. I hope these points are taken into consideration.

Submission by Nial Holden

We have been learning about the non smoking bill and I am writing on to tell you my views on it. In school we debated it and in the end by the majority of us said yes including me so I am going to tell you some of the points I put forward.

I think it should be passed because if there is a smoking section in a bar or restaurants there is no point because the smoke just drifts through anyway but I think that my friend Findlay made a very good point when he said “I think that people should be able to choose if people can smoke in the club, bar etc.

Thank you for reading my letter.

Submission by Sean Harrower

I am writing to you to tell you that I hope that smoking in public places is stopped because the non-smokers should not suffer lung problems because of the people who smoke. I have been in restaurants where people smoke and my eyes go really sore so I think it should be stopped.

I do no think it will be easy to stop because people will just keep doing it in non-smoking places. So I think it will be hard to stop.

Submission by J Bruce

I am writing to you to tell you about the bill which is the prohibition of smoking in regulated areas in Scotland. I feel strongly about this bill and would like to share my views on it.

First of all I am supporting it because if you’re eating something and smoke drifts over it can make food taste bad, non-smokers should not have to breathe in other people’s smoke and germs. The smokers should smoke in their house or their gardens.

I think if you get the message across that smokers are not allowed to smoke in regulated areas they might give up smoking all together. I think it will be hard to enforce this but it is worth a try. For Scotland’s sake lets stop people smoking in regulated areas.

Submission by Elizabeth Butler

At school we had a debate about the bill being passed pr not, at the end we all voted and we decided yes.

Some of the points we made were “if the bill was passed children would live a more healthy life” and “it might help people quit.”

I think the bill might be a bit difficult to enforce it first but then it will get easier.

Submission by Joanne Wilson

I am writing to you to tell you about the bill and the problems of smoking in restaurants, bars and cafes.

Most of the public who don’t smoke don’t like sitting in restaurants and being surrounded by smoke all of the time and coming home smelling of smoke it also puts peoples lives in danger as well as their own.

I think people shouldn’t have to sit around smokers anymore and come home smelling of smoke I think it would make people more happy if smoking would be banned in regulated areas and it might cut down how much people smoke when they’re out. If someone wants to smoke I think they should have to go outside or smoke in their own homes.

I hope you look into this big problem and do something about it and have no more smoking in restaurants, bars or clubs. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Submission by Richard P Duffy

Smoking is a horrible habit it gets in people’s eyes, nose and mouth even though they don’t want it to. I am in full support of the Bill. Any smoking areas should be banned because the smoke is inhaled from the non-smoking section anyway.

I think it will be difficult to enforce the Bill, many fights might break out because of people not being able to smoke in some places. the owners of bars/restaurants may object to the law because they want to smoke too.

By having non-smoking rooms instead of sections non-smokers would not have to suffer the dangers of passive smoking. Smoking in cars is a distraction from driving and should be banned as well. I hope you will take my views into consideration.

Submission by Zoé MacAndrew

I am writing to you concerning the matter of the Bill that is being passed around the Scottish Parliament. This Bill clearly states that smoking should be banned in public places. I personally don’t think that it should be passed. I have put forward a few points and I hope you will take them into consideration.

If this Bill is passed more people would start smoking in the street. This causes problems because more people would get into trouble from the police. This would annoy people and waste the police’s time when they could be doing something more important.

Most people blame people who smoke for setting off their asthma attacks. I don’t believe this because my mum smokes and my mum smokes and my brother has asthma and it never gives him an attack.

I hope you will read my points and take them into consideration.

Submission by Jack Hughes

I am writing to you about the Bill that is being passed around the Scottish Parliament about the smoking prohibition in regulated areas. I’m supporting to ban smoking in public places so I hope you should take it into account.

Here are some reasons why it should be banned:

1) If smokers smoke among others they could really damage their eyes, lungs, heart and many more or it could end up in death.

2) The people who smoke the cigarette only takes in 8% of it the other 92% is going up into the air.

3) If someone comes to have a meal. It’s not nice for the person to inhale the smoke.

After all this I hope you can take the banning of smoking to the next step.

Submission by Findlay Masson

If it was up to me I would say it would be a personal opinion. e.g. if you were a shop keeper or a bar owner it would really be up to them, if you were in that position you would have two sides one about smoking can get your clothes dirty and smelly and the smokers would not come back maybe.

If you were a smoker you might not go anywhere if all places were non-smoking and would have to smoke in there own time.

Submission by Claire Soutar

I am writing this letter to agree that I think the bill should be passed because people who don’t smoke have to suffer. Smoking can cause diseases such as lunch cancer, stomach cancer and Mouth disease.

I think smoking should be banned altogether in public places because I have sat in a restaurant in a non-smoking area and the smoke from the smoking area still filters over. A majority of people, including smokers support smoking restrictions and that they are concerned about breathing in other people smoke. If you are in any place where there are smokers your clothing will smell of smoke. Passive smoking hurts pregnant woman it can damage that woman’s unborn child.

I hope you will consider my points I have made and thank you for reading my letter.

Submission by Andrew Mudie

I am writing this letter to give my opinions on the bill that is going through Parliament.

First, I don’t support the bill as I think tobacco manufacturers would make less money so jobs would be axed. Also, less tobacco would be sold and the tax on it would bring the Government less money.

The bill would be very hard to enforce. There is simply not enough policemen and police women to enforce a ban. They can’t just go into every single day care centre in Scotland. Other than that I don’t think there is any other problem with the bill.

I don’t really know how to protect non-smokers but banning it not a step forwards.

Submission by Claire Repper

I am writing for the consideration of the Prohibition of smoking in regulated areas (Scotland) bill. Let me first like to put to mind I am all in for the bill to be passed through, though this is a free country and anything which is legal is an odd thing to ban.

The problem is I believe that the government don’t mind that the bill is not passed through because they like the taxes coming from the cigarettes. It is a problem for reputation of Scotland to have a lot of smokers in public areas. Also smoking creates a lot of waste from cigarette ends and ash. If smoking is banned in public place it would be much cleaner.

Thank you for taking these points into consideration, I hope this helps your research and good luck for the decision, I hope you get your bill pasted through!

Submission by Robbie Hartley

I am writing to you about the decision to ban smoking in public places. I strongly agree with the proposition to ban smoking and think that the bill should go through the Scottish Parliament and be carried.

I also think that smoking should be banned in public parks and public shops.

Smoking in public places can really affect peoples health and can trigger asthma attacks.

Submission by Eleanor Beaumont-Smith

I have been learning about Prohibition of smoking in regulated areas bill and I would like to tell you my opinion.

I support all principles of the bill since I think it is unfair how non-smokers have to breath in other peoples smoke. I also think it is unfair how non-smokers will also get all the diseases that a smoker will get.

I would also be grateful if the government could encourage pregnant women not to smoke because if they do they are more likely to have a premature baby.

In think that it will be quite hard to promote the bill at first but if people refuse to go along with it then you could raise the fine.

Also bar tenders or waiters/waitresses could ask people that it they want to smoke they could do it outside.

Submission by Gordon Buchan

I am writing to tell you about the smoking ban. I think smoking in public or regulated places should be banned because not only does it affect people with asthma but if you go at lot to restaurants with a smoky environment you increase your chance of lung cancer and heart disease. It will a very tough assignment to enforce. This is my opinion on the matter. Thank you for reading this letter.

Submission by Bao Cong Xia

We have been discussing in school if smoking in regulated areas should be banned. I personally think so, because smoking in public affects the environment and the people around them. It especially affects people with asthma and lung problems.

Passive smoking is much more likely to cause cancer and heart disease than direct smoke. It also contains more poisonous chemicals than direct smoke.

These are my opinions on if smoking should be banned in regulated areas. Thank you.

Submission by Ebi Ibojie

I am writing to tell you my views on the banning of smoking in public places. I support the bill and I think that it will make Scotland a cleaner, happier place.

Seven out of ten people don’t smoke these people should not have to breathe in other peoples smoke when they go into a pub or restaurant. Banning smoking may encourage people to stop smoking.

I think the bill will be hard to enforce because some smokers will probably complain and maybe start fights.

I also think that you should ban smoking while people are driving because it can distract the person driving and can disturb the passengers.

I hope you will take my letter into account and thank you very much for reading it.

Submission by Sam Knudson

I am writing to you about the bill that is being passed round the Scottish Parliament about smoking. The bill is whether or not smoking should be banned in public places. I think you will have to put a lot of thought and consideration in to this subject so I have got some points that might sway your decision.

I think if you did ban it there would be a lot of fights about where you smoke and where you can’t but if you did ban it the public’s health would get better.

I hope you come to a good decision and I hope my points have helped.

Submission by Molly Gray

I am writing to tell you that I agree with The Health Committees bill to ban smoking in public places. I also think it’ll be hard to make happen and there should be a fine.

My reasons for wanting the bill to be passed is it’s harming the smokers health as well as non-smokers health. Also it can be irritating for non-smokers as the smell can get in your hair and clothes. Some people may not want to eat in a smoky and smell place. It will make Scotland more healthy and there will be less deaths. Also less for the doctors to do and more time for them to concentrate on other things.

Thank you for taking time out to read my letter. I hope you take it in to consideration.

Submission by Scott Blair

I am writing, to you today, to tell you what I think about the Prohibition of Smoking in Regulated Areas (Scotland) Bill. I am writing on behalf of Mile-End School, and Aberdeen.

I will start off by saying that I am totally for the general principles of the bill. It will be easy to enforce for non-smoking people, but maybe a bit more difficult for the smokers. Other ideas for protecting the non-smokers, would be that you could put signs up on public toilets, restaurants, and any public places that lots of people go to. Any other things that could help, would be maybe more billboards, adverts and posters about quitting smoking.

I will enclose this letter by saying (and asking) to take my advice and at least taking it into consideration.

Submission by Rachael Hadjitofi

At school we have been looking into the bill meaning if we should ban smoking in regulated areas altogether, and I would like to give a few of my opinions.

First of all I would like to say that I think smoking should be banned in regulated areas because if you were at a restaurant the smoke from the smoking area could drift over were some people don’t like it. And if people had asthma smoke again could drift over and it might cause the person to react. The other thing that I don’t think is very fair is that non-smokers don’t really have a choice and the smoke will affect them to a certain degree anyway.

If you weren’t going to ban smoking you could easily make the smoking area outside and if it rains you could put a shelter over them. And last but not least if the smoke drifts over the non-smokers could breath it in and not enjoy their food as much.

I hope you will take time to think about this and made a good decision.

Submission by Callum McPherson

I am writing to you to tell you about my views on the bill about smoking in regulated areas.

First of all, I have to say, I am completely behind the bill. Too long have we had itchy eyes and coughed because of smokers! The main reason I am behind the bill is due to the health risks that are too numerous to name. It is not fair that we are getting cancers and diseases because other people have chosen to smoke! If all the health risks that are thought to be true are true, then the future is pretty bleak unless we do something right now.

There is one factor which may sway people though, the thought of lost business in many pubs and other regulated areas. This may be a threat, however, in other countries who have implemented the same ban, there has been no loss of customers, and sometimes a rise.

Another is the problem of enforcement. You can’t have a police officer in every regulated area. This will be a problem but I’m sure it can be passed.

I hope you have listened to my views.

Submission by Kate Stephen

I am writing to you because I would really like the bill on smoking to be passed. I think that smoking is a disgusting habit, it gives people cancer and health problems. There is also pressure on non-smokers to smoke all the time which is against free will. When there is a smoking part of a restaurant, the smoke from the smoking point will eventually filter through the non-smoking part of the restaurant. It’s the same everywhere, the smoke will always reach you, therefore causing pollution and discomfort.

If the bill was passed then the tourist industry would benefit. babies have delicate lungs and if there are smokers around them in public places it can cause lung disease and reduced lung growth. Accidents can happen with cigarettes and people can get them in their eyes and they could burn people.

Please pass this ban as it would benefit Britain in more ways than one.

Submission by Naomi Watson

I am writing this letter to state my views on the “Prohibition of smoking regulated areas (Scotland)” bill. I think that smoking should be banned in “regulated areas.” Passive smoking is a big risk to everyone, even if they don’t smoke. It is unfair on non-smokers to give them the same risks as smokers through passive smoking when they don’t smoke themselves. I also think that it is unfair to make people work, eat etc in a smoky environment. Cigarette smoke can trigger asthma attacks and make any cough worse.

I think that this bill will be quite difficult to put into practice, but with a bit of determination, I think that it would be a very good move and it could work after a little while. It is not very pleasant to walk into a building that stinks of cigarette smoke. If this bill is passed, then it will greatly help this problem. Also even if there are smoking/non-smoking areas in restaurants/pubs etc, then that doesn’t necessarily mean that the smoke from the smoking area doesn’t drift through to the non-smoking area.

I think that if this bill is passed, then it would be a very positive action and I hope that you will read this letter and take my views into consideration.

Submission by Kirsty Cassie

I am writing this letter to you because of the bill banning smoking in public areas, I would really like it if it came into action in Scotland I also think that it would promote Scotland as a country.

When this bill comes into process I think there will be a bit of disruption with the smokers but in time I think that it will sink in. I also think we should build designated smoking areas for smokers that want to stop get the help they need to help them stop. Another place I think you should ban smoking in public parks for the enjoyment of others because smoke clings onto your clothes and hair.

I hope that this bill goes through and that it shall carry on through the UK. Thank you for reading my letter and I hope that it all goes well thank you again.

Submission by Jamie Gibbon

I am writing to you because I think that the bill is really, really unfair. In my opinion I think that non-smokers have the right to breathe clean and fresh air. It should be banned because there are more non-smokers than smokers.

One of the reasons is because 85% of the smoke goes into the air and only 15% goes in to the smoker. Smoking also causes lung disease, cancer etc. If people smoke near schools, colleges etc. they might set a craze to smoke. If restaurants are split into smoking areas and non-smoking the smoke still gets everywhere.

To be honest I will be happy if you just put a warning or picture on cigarette packets.

Submission by Sally E Casson

I think this bill should be passed because I get very put off some regulated areas if a lot of people smoke in them. I also think regulated areas will be more pleasant if no one smokes in them.

I don’t think anyone should be allowed to smoke anywhere apart from their own homes because if people can’t smoke in public places people might not smoke as much which means that some people might cut down on how many cigarettes they have a day and some people might even quit smoking which means we might end up as a healthier country!

I think it will take a while to get used to if the motion is passed but after a while it will be a big success!

If regulated areas have smoking and non smoking areas the smoke will still drift into the non smoking areas!

I think smokers are inconsiderate to non smokers because the non smokers breathe in smoke which is bad for them! Thank you very much for taking time to read this letter and take some of my points into consideration.


Prohibition of Smoking in Regulated Areas (Scotland) Bill

Feedback from the Consultants in Public Health Medicine (Communicable Disease and Environmental Health) Working Group

Our group includes all Scottish health board-based public health doctors concerned with the prevention and control of outbreaks and environmental hazards. As such we strongly support any initiative aimed at reducing or eliminating indoor air pollution implicated in the cause of disease and premature death. The passive inhalation of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is now incontrovertibly linked to a wide range of diseases and causes of premature death. We feel that the Prohibition of Smoking in Regulated Areas (Scotland) Bill is a long overdue first step toward smoke-free public places by introducing the concept that it is unacceptable to allow smoking in restaurants when food is being consumed. In addition, limiting smoking in public places will have important knock-on effects on primary smoking in the general population, reducing smoking prevalence and per capita consumption of cigarettes, with the huge benefits that will result across the board (reduced morbidity, mortality, absenteeism, fires, etc.). Most critically, a ban in public places would reduce primary smoking in the home, alleviating some of the devastating effects on the health of children (including the unborn) who are unwilling victims of this dangerous addiction.

The following are all good reasons to move toward legislation-based controls of smoking in public places. They have all been endorsed by Glasgow-based Smoking Concerns.

There is increasing scientific evidence1 conclusively linking ETS and a wide range of diseases in adults including lung cancer, ischaemic heart disease, exacerbation of chronic obstructive lung disease, asthma attacks in those affected, and onset of symptoms of heart disease. There is substantial evidence linking ETS with strokes i.

In addition, exposure to ETS during pregnancy has been conclusively linked to reduced foetal growth and premature birth i. Almost one in three pregnant women are exposed to ETS in the workplace2 . Exposure of children to ETS has been conclusively linked to cot death, middle ear disease, respiratory infections, development of asthma in those previously unaffected and asthma attacks in those already affected i. By allowing smoking in public places to go relatively unabated for decades we have silently endorsed primary smoking in the home and badly let down countless numbers of unborn babies and children.

Restaurants that attract families with children and allow or even encourage smoking is an unacceptable development that needs to be countered with reasoned, evidenced-based arguments on the dangers to children of the prolonged exposures that can take place in these environments.

The majority of the general public and, indeed, the majority of smokers want a ban on smoking in public places, including restaurants3 .

Control of smoking in the workplace has already been partially achieved through voluntary workplace restrictions. It is not just reasonable but mandatory to extend these voluntary codes of practice to legal requirements. The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 already compels employers to protect the health of their staff, and the general public using the premises, as a general duty of care. It is only a matter of time before employees take legal action against their employers for passive smoking-related disease.

Extending a comprehensive workplace ban to a ban in all enclosed public places would be a natural progression, in that public places are also workplaces and their employees have a right to employment in a smoke-free environment.

Ventilation does not remove the carcinogenic gases from cigarette smoke in the air, only the particulate matter and smells. This is supported by American research that concludes that ETS “cannot be controlled to acceptable levels of risk by ventilation or air cleaning”4 . Ventilation provides false reassurance to passively inhaling unwary occupants of ventilated smoking areas, effectively neutralising what should be their natural objection to inhaling ETS.

Comprehensive workplace and public place bans involving an entire country have been found to reduce prevalence of smoking by 15% in relative terms (~10% when applied to a city or small region). Therefore, in addition to eliminating passive smoking in the workplace and in public places (assumed to be approximately 2/3 of the total passive exposure) it would also reduce primary smoking and therefore smoking related disease. It also reduces per capita consumption by smokers. By reducing the prevalence of primary smoking and the per capita consumption of smokers it would further reduce the passive smoking suffered by foetuses and children. Children born into less privileged homes in Scotland are affected by the combined effects of poverty and ETS because their parents are more like to smoke, predisposing them to a range of diseases in later life.

Comprehensive bans have been shown to work in some Canadian provinces, several American states, several countries (including New Zealand) and European cities. Why should Scotland, where large areas experience a combination of high smoking prevalence and social deprivation, be so reluctant to follow in the path of more privileged parts of the world where the need for a ban is less acute?

The evidence to date shows that banning smoking in public places does not harm the business of pubs and restaurants as predicted by the tobacco industry. The majority of the population is non-smoking and would be persuaded to return to the restaurant and pub if they could be assured of clean air to breathe. The smokers would learn to enjoy the pub in a new and more wholesome way.

Smelling other people’s second hand smoke is unpleasant and anti-social. It irritates the eyes and upper respiratory tract. It makes your clothes smell. The minority of smokers should not be allowed to diminish the quality of life for non-smokers.

It is difficult to justify bans on the use of mobile phones or compulsory use of seatbelts while driving and then accept smoking in the workplace or in public places. We legislate to defend civil liberties and save lives and we should be consistent and apply this to ETS which does infringe on one’s basic right to breathe fresh air and does cause disease and kill, even if it doesn't tend to do this instantly. It is equally important to protect vulnerable members of society from ETS.

Both the previous and current Chief Medical Officers for Scotland have issued strong and clear calls for a ban on smoking in public places. On his retiral as CMO, Sir David Carter stated, “A ban on smoking in public places is the single most important initiative we need in Scotland to improve the public health". He was right. Now Dr Mac Armstrong is echoing those words. If we refuse to take heed of advice on such an important public health matter from the most senior doctor in the land, who will we take advice from?

The NHS is straining to provide limited NHS services for an apparently limitless demand for healthcare. We simply can’t afford to provide the full range of prevention and treatment-based services to everyone in Scotland if 35% of the population is still smoking.

The above are all good reasons why we should support Stewart Maxwell's Bill and move toward the inevitable and desired goal: a smoke-free Scotland. In contrast, there is only one reason why we have allowed, and would continue to allow, smoking in enclosed public places in the face of evidence on the dangers of passive smoking, and that is to appease a powerful tobacco industry. It is time to put Scotland on the map and do the right thing.

1 British Medical Association(BMA) Towards Smoke-free Public Places Nov 2002 available from

2 Smoking and Pregnancy: A survey of Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour. HEA London,UK2002.

3 Office for National Statistics (2003) Smoking Related Behaviour and Attitudes London.

4 Repace, J Fact Sheet on Secondhand Smoke, 1999 available from