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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 March 2006, 06:37 GMT
A 'huge step' to healthier future
The ban on smoking in enclosed public places comes into effect on the morning of Sunday 26 March.

In a series of articles from interested parties supporting and opposed to the ban, tobacco control group Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) Scotland gives its view.

Chief executive Maureen Moore believes Scotland can now look forward to a healthier future.

Ash Scotland is very proud of the new law on smoke-free enclosed public places.

Pub sign in Glasgow
Smoking will be barred in pubs, clubs, restaurants and public places

When Scotland goes smoke-free on 26 March, we will all be taking a huge step forward.

In later years, people will look back on the legislation for smoke-free public places much in the same way that today we look back on the laws that got rid of industrial smog or provided for clean drinking water.

Up to 1,000 non-smokers die every year in Scotland because of exposure to second-hand smoke.

Ash Scotland argued that it was unacceptable that the carcinogens in second-hand smoke could continue to drift around unchecked in our public places and put everyone at risk to entirely preventable fatal diseases and ill-health.

When we go smoke-free, Scotland will be joining a small elite of countries around the world that have gone for a comprehensive ban on smoking in enclosed public places.

Maureen Moore
There is no reason that Scotland shouldn't see record declines in the numbers who smoke

I think that Scotland should expect to have a similar experience as they had when we go smoke-free. In all other countries that have gone smoke-free, implementation goes smoothly and successfully.

Most people respect the law and I am confident Scots will observe the new restrictions after 26 March.

Smoke-free public places are also popular.

Most people aren't smokers, and most smokers wish they could quit, so there is actually a huge appetite for being able to go about your daily business without having to breathe other people's cigarette smoke.

Six months after Ireland ended smoking in public, opinion polls showed that 94% of people in Ireland thought the law was a good idea.

'Opportunity to choose'

Once the law has become established, Scotland can look forward to some real improvements in health.

Non-smokers will be free from second-hand smoke.

Many smokers will also take the opportunity to choose to beat their addiction.

If we look to somewhere like New York where they have been smoke-free for over two years, the number of people who smoke has fallen to record low levels.

If the Scottish Executive keeps supporting policies like smoke-free public places and remains committed to helping smokers to quit, then there is no reason that Scotland shouldn't see record declines in the numbers who smoke as well.

Ash Scotland believes in a smoke-free future for everyone and will be campaigning to make smoke-free public places a success.

Scotland grasps smoking thistle
08 Mar 06 |  Scotland
Smoking ban debate in Scotland
20 Mar 06 |  Scotland

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