Plans to turn Scotland into a tobacco free zone have been once again brought up by the Government in Scotland with Michael Matheson the Public Health Minister launching a new campaign on March 27th. The strategy aims to reduce the amount of smokers down to just 5% of the total population by the year 2034. The ambitious move has been welcomed with wide arms by MSP Nigel Don and Angus North.
In order to help cut down the amount of smokers in the country many new proposals have been made including cigarette display bans in larger stores. In addition, by April 29th of 2013 all tobacco vending machines will be banned as well. Smaller shops in the Scotland area will have until April 6th, 2015 in order to come in complete compliance with the order.
Starting in March 2015 all hospital grounds in the country will also have to be smoke free zones and this includes removing all designated smoking areas from NHS grounds and buildings. In addition, by 2015 all local authorities will have to make their ground smoke-free and set out measures for the appropriate enforcement of the smoke free zones.
Scotland was the first region in the UK to support standardised packaging for all tobacco products and is waiting for the UK Government to respond about how the packages should read before moving ahead.
MSP Nigel Don stated that he is very happy to support the many new strategies that have been proposed by the Minister for Public Health and added that with these in mind it is hard to dispute the fact that the Scottish Government cares deeply about the health of its people. He added that by helping to reduce smoking in Scotland they hope to become a leader in health among the various nations.