Most Scots back further smoking restrictions

Smoker. Picture by Phil Wilkinsion.
Smoker. Picture by Phil Wilkinsion.

Most people in Scotland believe there should be further restrictions on smoking in public places, says a new study.

The survey by the UK’s leading online chemist, Pharmacy2U, found that two thirds of people in Scotland back a smoking ban in all children’s playgrounds. Outdoor restaurants feature prominently too, with nearly half of all respondents saying they shouldn’t have to put up with second hand smoke al-fresco.

One in five say they would travel further to visit a smoke-free beach.

But not all Scots think clamping down further on smokers is a good idea and there are voices of criticism about the state interfering in civil liberties within public places.

Smoking isn’t the only vice that Scots prefer not to see in public: 40 percent surveyed said the current ban on drinking in parks should be upheld. One in five thinks public but passionate displays of affection are unacceptable.

Dr Nitin Shori, a medical director who organised the study, who is a working doctor said: “There does appear to be public support for more smoking restrictions – particularly where children are likely to be playing.

“Some parents worry about the impact of breathing in second-hand smoke, while others can be concerned about litter.”

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, the local authority for the Western isles, hasn’t yet any proposals to further restrict smoking beyond indoor ban introduced in 2006. But in Brighton, the council is actively involved in a dialogue with residents over whether such restrictions should be policy. Scottish councils, including Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, will be interested in Brighton Council’s decision.

What do you think, would you like to see the streets of Stornoway and its surroundings smoke free? Is a public ban the right way to achieve this or should others’ simply learn to tolerate people’s habits?