New legislation comes into force
MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the fact that patients and healthcare staff will no longer face second-hand smoke at hospital doors as a nationwide ban comes into effect today (Monday, September 5)
The new legislation means anyone found lighting up within fifteen metres of a hospital building could face a fixed penalty notice of £50 or a fine of up to £1,000 if the case goes to court.
This is the latest step in the Scottish Government’s plan to create a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034 and supports the voluntary smoke-free hospital grounds policy introduced in 2015.
The new law will apply to NHS hospital settings used for the treatment and care of patients and includes a ban on lighting up beneath overhanging structures.
Public Health Minister Maree Todd said: “Everyone knows that smoking is bad for our health and hospital patients in particular should be protected from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.
“This new law is the latest step in our bold plan to make Scotland tobacco-free by 2034 – building on our dedicated stop-smoking services and early intervention measures to stop youngsters picking up the habit altogether.
“Anyone looking to quit can contact the NHS QuitYourWay Helpline or speak to their local pharmacy to discuss the range of help available.”
ASH Scotland Chief Executive Sheila Duffy said: “Extending current legislation to include outdoor areas will have the positive impact of protecting people from the harmful effects of breathing in toxic tobacco smoke through vents, windows or doorways while they are being treated and recovering in hospital.
“We urge people who smoke to be considerate in remaining outside the 15-metre perimeter, ensuring hospital patients do not face unnecessary additional risks to their health caused by inhaling harmful substances.
“This is particularly important as Scotland challenges the normalisation of smoking on our journey towards becoming tobacco-free.”