Holyrood vow to snuff out tobacco habit in Scotland

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Smokers could confront tougher limitations on smoking as the Scottish Government intends to extinguish the habit over the next two decades.

On November 26, SNP ministers affirmed plans to release a timetable in 2013 on making Scotland smoke-free.

No details of the date or exact suggestions to reach the goal have been revealed.

Public health experts indicated ministers would have to focus on “distribution networks” such as stores if they want to fulfill the “ambitious but realistic” goal.

Smokers’ group Forest said laws had already gone too far and required an end to people being teased into quitting smoking.

New Zealand has established the target of becoming tobacco-free by 2025 and lately introduced a 40% increase in cigarette taxes over the next 4 years.

In Finland the government has said it plans to eliminate smoking totally by 2040.

It is considered the Scottish Government is supposed to make its tobacco-free goal within the same frame of time.

Scotland was the first country in the UK to introduce a smoking ban in public places in March 2006.

According to the latest data, the percentage of Scots adults smoking dropped from 25.7% in 2006 to 23.3% in 2011.

In 1999, just in excess of 30% of adults in Scotland were smokers.

Professor Gerard Hastings, of Stirling University’s Centre for Tobacco Control Research, accepted the concept of targeting for a tobacco-free country.

He said ministers should examine more limited “distribution networks” for cigarettes.

He pointed to Sainsbury’s, which lately released the elimination of tobacco from sale at six supermarkets in reply to the Scottish Government’s health levy on business rates paid by big shops marketing cigarettes and alcohol.

He said that perhaps tobacco sales will be out of stores altogether, focus it in small stores and train up the staff of small outlets in public health issues so they know what they are working with.”

John Watson, of anti-smoking group Ash Scotland, said that if the Scottish Government establishes a date and declares it wants to be tobacco-free by this date, it will be great. He added that this will actually enhance the idea that Scotland is a leading nation regarding tackling tobacco.”

But Simon Clark, of Forest, said that people are no longer motivated or informed about quitting smoking.

The Scottish Government affirmed the new tobacco strategy to be released in 2013 would include goals for Scotland to be tobacco-free.

A spokeswoman said that the strategy will give attention to prevention, protection and cessation and will also contain both an analysis of quitting smoking services and goals for minimizing smoking across Scotland.”

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