Scotland’s new five year tobacco strategy, ‘Creating a Tobacco-free Generation’, was launched on March 27th this year. It sets out a plan for action across the key themes of health inequalities, prevention, protection and cessation. Headlining the strategy was a commitment to setting 2034 as a target date for reducing smoking prevalence to 5%. Other measures included a requirement for smoke-free hospital grounds by March 2015, a commitment to a national marketing campaign on the dangers of second-hand smoke in enclosed spaces, and a strong commitment to introducing standardised packaging of tobacco products. For the strategy, see:
There was no mention in the new strategy of possible legislation to protect people from tobacco smoke in vehicles; however Jim Hume MSP has launched a Private Members’ Bill on Smoking in Cars with children under 16 present. ASH Scotland supported the launch and the principle of a debate on legislation, though ASH Scotland’s position is a wider one to cover smoking in vehicles with more than one person, so that all are protected. The consultation will run to 30 August, and details are at:
Also omitted from the national strategy was a firm position on a tobacco policy for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Details of the campaign are on the ASH Scotland website, including a briefing note, the opportunity to register support, and the letter sent to the organising committee, which was supported by health organisations in 16 commonwealth countries. ASH Scotland is calling for a comprehensive tobacco-free policy in venues, to support the drive towards a generation free from tobacco.
On 21 June the European Tobacco Products Directive cleared a key hurdle and goes forward with recommendations for 65% picture health warnings on packs, a ban on characterising tobacco flavours such as menthol, the possibility for member states to introduce standardised packaging, and health warnings for nicotine containing products below a certain threshold, with medicines regulation for those above.
Clearly there is plenty to debate and move forward with as we reach towards a future in which a child born anywhere in Scotland this year reaches the age of majority in communities where smoking is minimal and tobacco use a thing of the past.
Sheila Duffy, ASH Scotland
This article, written by Sheila Duffy from ASH Scotland, was published in the SCPN Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 3.
Read the full issue here: