Clearing the Air for a Healthier Scotland

Today this leaflet arrived through my letterbox:

On Sunday 26 March at 6am Scotland will become smoke-free. From that date, everyone in Scotland will have the right to work and socialize in a smoke-free environment.

From 26 March, it will be illegal to smoke in most indoor places other than private homes. This includes restaurants, bars, cafes, hotels, theatres, bingo halls, church halls, sports centres, shopping centres, public transport, schools, hospitals and all clubs.

The law also covers almost all workplaces, including lorries and vans. Smoking indoors at work will no longer be allowed, including in any existing designated smoking rooms or areas. So, unless you carry out your job in your own or someone else’s home, or in one of the few exempted premises, smoking indoors will be against the law. Employers can provide outdoor smoking shelters for their staff and customers, providing they comply with the law, but they don’t have to.

It has been argued that if you ban smoking from pubs and other eating places, the number of customers will drop. I doubt it, myself.

Not so long ago, I went into an eating area in British Home Stores. They had smokers at the back and non-smokers at the front. The smoking section was larger than the non-smoking section, but it was half-empty. The non-smoking section was packed – I had to wait for someone to leave a table. That seemed wrong to me – that there were all those empty tables in the smoking section, but none of us would use them because of the smokers.

I will be interested to visit British Home Stores after the 26 March to see if there is more room and a better choice of table for all of us. I’m quite excited at the thought that I’ll be able to sit right at the back of the room, away from the queue at the food counter! That’s something we’ve never done in all the years we’ve lived around here. Talk about a new perspective…

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