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Last Updated: Friday, 3 February 2006, 14:55 GMT
Smoke ban to affect white van man
Ford Transit van
Commercial drivers will be banned from smoking in their cabs
Scotland's so-called white van man looks set to be hit hard by next month's smoking ban.

The Road Haulage Association has said about 50,000 drivers will be affected when the ban on lighting up in public places comes into force.

The rules mean drivers of vans and lorries, along with farmers, may be fined if caught smoking in vehicles.

Drivers coming north from England will have to stub out their cigarettes when crossing the border from 26 March.

Commercial vehicle owners will also have to place no-smoking stickers in their cabs to comply with legislation.

The law to ban smoking in public places comes into force at 0600 GMT on 26 March.

The industry has been made aware of the change in the law and what its obligations will be
Scottish Executive

It is designed to protect people from the health risks of passive smoking and will create smoke free environments in bars, restaurants and workplaces.

However, Phil Flanders of the Road Haulage Association said the ban went too far.

"It's just going to be totally confusing," he said.

"Most of these people are in their cabs all day and a lot of them sleep in their cabs at night.

"That means they can't have a cigarette if it's pouring with rain or snowing or they are going to have to go out.

"Maybe companies will have to start dishing out umbrellas."

The ban will cover the time lorries are on the road and while parked overnight, where drivers sleep in their cabs.

Farm smokers

Vans will also be affected by the ban, but not company cars.

The National Farmers' Union said its members had been advised to be aware of the new rules.

A spokesman said: "Smoking around the farm, if insurance allows it, is permitted but smoking within a farm building is not since the buildings are regarded as business premises.

Tractor
Farm vehicles are also covered by the new law

"If a room in the farmhouse is used as an office, the law only applies if employees and visitors have access to it, since it is then classed as business premises.

"Even more challenging, the law states that business vehicles, including agricultural machinery have to be smoke free though private cars are exempt."

He added: "All farm workers now have the right to a smoke free environment and so we advise all of our members to ensure that both their workers and they themselves are given just that, in accordance with the law."

A spokesman for the Scottish Executive said: "The regulations make it perfectly clear that commercial vehicles like vans and lorries will be covered by the legislation.

"Along with other businesses in Scotland, the industry has been made aware of the change in the law and what its obligations will be."


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See how drivers are reacting to the ban



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