A nationwide smoking ban in enclosed public places has been introduced in Scotland. Here is reaction to the move.
FIRST MINISTER JACK McCONNELL
Scotland will be proud that it has gone smoke-free ahead of any other part of the UK.
The smoking ban is absolutely the right way forward. It is right for Scotland, for our nation's health, our nation's economy and our tourist industry.
This country has always been a great place to live, to work, to bring up your children and even just to visit. Today, it just got better.
In the years ahead, people will look back on today as the day that Scotland took the largest single step to improve its health for generations. It is a day for all Scots to be proud of our nation. Scotland - the best small country in the world.
HEALTH MINISTER ANDY KERR
Scotland is now smoke-free. As well as protecting people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, this far-reaching and ambitious step will help many people to give up smoking.
Evidence from Ireland and New York proves this.
There really has never been a better time to quit. I know how difficult it is to stop smoking but it is the best decision a smoker can make.
Stopping smoking is not only good for the health of the individual but Scotland as a whole.
As a smoke-free nation, Scotland can look forward to a healthier future. A future where Scots live longer, families stay together longer and our young people are fitter and better prepared to make the most of their ambitions.
It is a future that we can all look forward to and Scotland should be proud that it's leading the way in the UK.
GREEN MSP ELEANOR SCOTT
Greens have supported the ban all along and believe it is a major step towards improving Scotland's health and a credit to the Scottish Parliament that it went for the full ban and not some wishy-washy unworkable compromise.
It will give a better social life to those 75% of people who are non-smokers and who will no longer be exposed to second-hand smoke when they're out trying to enjoy themselves. It will protect the health of workers in the premises affected.
It will encourage the 80% of smokers who want to quit and make quitting easier for them. It will remove one of the key factors ("social smoking") that starts young people on the road to becoming smokers. Scotland will be cleaner and healthier as a result.
DR PETER TERRY, BMA SCOTLAND CHAIRMAN
Smoke-free legislation is a legacy that Scotland has given to its future generations.
This will be remembered as the time Scotland took a bold and politically courageous step to improve the health of people in Scotland.
For years, Scotland's pubs, restaurants and workplaces have been filled with deadly smoke which has contributed to thousands of deaths from cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Let us not forget that this legislation has been put in place to protect the public and employees from the hazards of second-hand smoke.
Economic arguments around loss of trade are not proven and raise the question over what value employers place on the health and lives of their employees and customers.
On Sunday, Scotland clears the air, and in doing so it leads the way for other countries in the UK to follow suit next year.
On behalf of doctors across Scotland, I thank the Scottish Parliament for introducing this legislation that will help save lives which, for too long, have been cut short by the deadly weed that is tobacco.
GLASGOW GP DR STIRLING BRUCE
Significant progress can only be made to improve health in deprived areas if there is a major cultural shift in attitudes towards smoking.
I believe that this new law will help to enable this change. Throughout my career as a GP I have regularly witnessed the devastation that tobacco brings to families and in years to come I believe we will ask why did this take so long?
BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION'S DAVID BARKER
Sunday 26 March 2006 is a historic day for Scotland.
It is extremely encouraging that devolution has allowed such tremendous advances in public health policy to take place, and also to see the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive lead the way for the rest of the UK on this crucial issue.
We know that regular exposure to second-hand smoke increases the chances of developing heart disease by about 25%.
No responsible government could allow such an appalling public health anomaly to continue.
This legislation will save many Scottish lives that would have been lost purely because of the actions of others, and it has our unequivocal support.
ASH DIRECTOR DEBORAH ARNOTT
Scotland is leading the United Kingdom in protecting non-smokers from exposure to second-hand smoke at work and play.
But we urge the Westminster parliament to bring forward the start of the ban to May 2007 and to set out its plan for implementing the ban with the utmost urgency.
All workers deserve protection from second-hand smoke regardless of their postcode. They've waited long enough already.
FOREST SPOKESMAN NEIL RAFFERTY
Scotland will be a poorer place. Politicians and health campaigners have unprecedented power over our lives.
The ban will do nothing to improve the health of the nation, but it will give a warm glow to those who enjoy telling others what to do.
The anti-smoking fanatics will use the ban to victimise and stigmatise smokers even further.
They have used abusive and dishonest methods to make smokers feel bad about themselves, even comparing smokers to heroin addicts.
The executive and anti-smoking lobbyists have misled the Scottish people. They have exaggerated the effects of passive smoking, hidden the true economic costs, and ignored the fundamental issues of freedom and choice.
All along we advocated a policy which would have delivered genuine choice for smokers, non-smokers and bar workers and opinion polls showed that the majority of Scots agreed with us.
It would be bad enough if the ban was being imposed by wise and responsible politicians, but this is the same bunch who spent £400m on a parliament building that is now falling to bits.
In years to come this ban will be seen as one more step on the road to surrendering our personal freedom to politicians.
PUB OWNER LEON SIMMS
It is the most stupid piece of legislation that Jack McConnell has ever conceived. No matter what the executive says, there is going to be an economic impact.
We have talked to brewers who say that trade is down all over Ireland since the ban came into force there. I am quite happy for a smoking ban in places where food is served but not for a good old-fashioned boozer.
My bar staff are sad about the ban as they think it will have an impact on the local and social aspects of the bar.
Personal freedom is being taken away. The customer always has the choice. Nobody forces them to go into a pub and nobody forces staff to work there. I am expecting some conflict, so I'm not looking forward to Sunday.
INDEPENDENT MSP BRIAN MONTEITH
The draconian nature of the total ban, where even some bus shelters are included, relies upon the public becoming snitches, while publicans will have to enforce the ban or face heavier fines than the smokers themselves.
The law is divisive, illiberal and counterproductive as it shall only lead to more people smoking at home rather than in bars and cafes with other smokers.