The prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places
The legislation, the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005, which introduces the smoking ban in Scotland was approved by the Scottish Parliament in June 2005 and the Act is in the words of the Health Minister, Andy Kerr MSP, “to be welcomed as being a significant step forward in improving public health in Scotland”.
The Executive has recognised the unique position that Environmental Health has within communities, business and public, through our duty to protect public health and our everyday contact and established links with those communities. Environmental Health has been given a key role in the transition period leading up to the 26 March 2006 deadline to assist the Executive in informing and raising awareness of the requirements of the legislation to businesses and the public.
After 26 March 2006 Environmental Health are tasked to ensure compliance with the smoking ban.
The Executive will be undertaking an extensive public and business awareness raising campaign and indeed some publicity has already been issued to all businesses within Scotland. A strategy is currently being prepared by this service that will compliment the publicity work from the Executive.
The experience of Environmental Health Officers in Ireland is that the overwhelmingly successful implementation of and compliance with a smoking ban in Ireland in 2004 came about through the active co-operation of businesses and the public. With the similar co-operation from our communities, business and public, we would hope that making Scotland ‘Smoke Free by Twenty Six Three’ would be as successful.