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Last Updated: Monday, 12 January, 2004, 11:26 GMT
Doctors seek MSPs' smoking views
Cigarette stub
Scotland's doctors are seeking MSPs' views in their campaign for smoke-free public places.

The British Medical Association in Scotland is sending questionnaires to all MSPs asking them for their opinions on passive smoking.

It will ask MSPs if they believe Holyrood should have a role in combating health risks from smoking.

The move comes ahead of the expected launch of a major new Scottish Executive anti-smoking strategy.

Voluntary measures have failed and we believe that it is now time for politicians to legislate to protect the public health
Dr Charles Saunders
The questionnaire will ask MSPs if they agree that tobacco "contains over 50" cancer-causing substances, that passive smoking causes a range of illnesses including lung cancer and that MSPs should work to protect public health.

Dr Charles Saunders, of the BMA's Scottish Council, said the organisation was backing a member's bill seeking a ban on smoking in public places.

He said: "Smoking remains the biggest single cause of preventable death in Scotland.

"For a number of years the BMA has been campaigning for the introduction of legislation to create smoke-free public places.

'Open-ended consultation'

"Voluntary measures have failed and we believe that it is now time for politicians to legislate to protect the public health.

"We support the member's bill proposed by Stewart Maxwell MSP to regulate smoking in public places where food is served, and are now seeking the views of the parliament so that we can help move forward the case for smoke-free public places."

Last week, First Minister Jack McConnell ruled out an outright ban on smoking in public places.

He said there would be an "open-ended consultation" on the issue but this would not include specific proposals for a complete ban on lighting up in pubs and restaurants.

The Scottish Executive is expected to launch new measures aimed at encouraging smokers to stop on Tuesday.


SEE ALSO:
Full smoking ban 'not in pipeline'
07 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Scotland 'bucks cancer trend'
07 Jan 04  |  Scotland
Want to stop smoking?
07 Jan 04  |  Magazine


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