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Smoking ban gets seal of public approval

26/06/2006

Scotland's ban on smoking in public places, which came into force three months ago today, has enjoyed a successful introduction with figures from local authorities showing a compliance rate in excess of 99 per cent.

Health Minister Andy Kerr said:

"I am delighted that the first month of the smoking ban had compliance rates of over 99 per cent. This shows that the overwhelming majority of Scots have embraced the ban and the improvements it will bring to the health of our nation.

"There has never been a better time to stop smoking in Scotland. As well as protecting people from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke, I am confident that over time, the smoking ban will encourage many people to give up smoking, as well as dissuading people from starting in the first place. Evidence from Ireland and New York supports this.

"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. That is why we are investing record levels of funding - £9 million this year and £11 million next year - in services to support people who want to give up.

"A smoke-free Scotland is looking 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."

The Health Minister also announced the latest results of the MRUK omnibus survey on attitudes to smoking in public places and levels of support for the smoke-free legislation.

He said:

"I am pleased these figures show continuing strong levels of support for the new law, as well as showing that 73 per cent of people surveyed think the ban has been successful.

"I am delighted, however, that the figures also show that 35 per cent of smokers surveyed say the ban has helped them to reduce the amount they smoke - that is a great start for improving our health.

"But yet again, most importantly, these figures show that more and more people are realising that passive smoking is not just a nuisance - it is a killer. And that is why the smoking ban is so important for the people of Scotland and the future health of our nation."

Compliance data has been collated from returns from all local authorities in Scotland. It shows the number of premises inspected from March 26 to April 30 and the numbers and percentages which were compliant in respect of not allowing smoking in no-smoking premises.

  • Hotels - Number inspected: 1,104 / No smoking in premises - number compliant: 1,094 / No smoking in premises - percentage compliant: 99.1
  • Restaurants - Number inspected: 1,904 / No smoking in premises - number compliant: 1,897 / No smoking in premises - percentage compliant: 99.6
  • Licensed premises - Number inspected: 3,921/ No smoking in premises - number compliant: 3,899 / No smoking in premises - percentage compliant: 99.4
  • Other - Number inspected: 8,611 / No smoking in premises - number compliant: 8,562 / No smoking in premises - percentage compliant: 99.4
  • Total - Number inspected: 15,540 / No smoking in premises - number compliant: 15,452 / No smoking in premises - percentage compliant: 99.4

Hotels - the whole premises, including bedrooms, bar areas, dining rooms

Restaurants - all food establishments where diners sit in to eat

Licensed premises - premises licensed for the sale and consumption, on site, of liquor e.g. pubs, clubs, bingo halls

Other - other workplaces, takeaways, taxis, vehicles, care establishments etc

Premises are also required to display no-smoking signs, as set out in the legislation. Compliance rates, whilst not as high as compliance on no-smoking, is nevertheless relatively high as shown in the information below. These are technical infringements, however, which are being addressed by the continued supply of compliant signs nationally, and through local Environmental Health Departments.

  • Hotels - Number inspected: 1104 / Displaying required signage - number compliant: 798 / Displaying required signage - percentage compliant: 72.3
  • Restaurants - Number inspected: 1904 / Displaying required signage - number compliant: 1366 / Displaying required signage - percentage compliant: 71.7
  • Licensed premises - Number inspected: 3921 / Displaying required signage - number compliant: 3445 / Displaying required signage - percentage compliant: 87.9
  • Other - Number inspected: 8611 / Displaying required signage - number compliant: 5837 / Displaying required signage - percentage compliant: 67.8
  • Total - Number inspected: 15540 / Displaying required signage - number compliant: 11446 / Displaying required signage - percentage compliant: 73.7

There were three Fixed Penalty Notices issued to premises for permitting smoking in no-smoking premises and three to individuals for smoking in no-smoking premises.

The main findings of the lastest MRUK opinion survey were:

  • Support for the smoke-free legislation has been maintained (61 per cent). Non- smokers' support for the new law increased to 89 per cent . Ex-smokers' support increased to 80 per cent and smokers' support rose to 30 per cent from 26 per cent before the ban came into place
  • 100 per cent of respondents were aware that there was now a ban on smoking in enclosed public places
  • 73 per cent of respondents thought that the law has been very successful or successful. By smoking status: 83 per cent of non-smokers perceived the ban as very successful or successful, compared to 82 per cent ex-smokers and 60 per cent of smokers
  • 7 per cent of ex-smokers thought that the ban had helped them slightly or greatly to give up smoking. 60 per cent of smokers maintained that the ban would not impact on the amount they smoked
  • The percentage of those who do not allow smoking anywhere in the home is 47 per cent