Public support for outdoor smoking bans in Scotland

Should smoking be banned in public parks?

Should smoking be banned in public parks?

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The majority of people in Scotland think smoking should be banned in playgrounds.

And according to new research, many would welcome other outdoor smoke free places too.

Smoking is still a major cause of preventable disease and premature deaths in Britain

Dr Nitin Shori

Following proposals for up-weighted smoking bans in other parts of the UK, the survey has revealed an appetite for extended smoking restrictions in Scotland too - although some think it would be a step too far.

The independent research commissioned by the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service found that two thirds (66%) of those from Scotland back bans in playgrounds, with many in favour of restrictions in outdoor restaurants (49%) and public parks (40%).

One in five (19%) said they would travel further to visit a smoke free beach.

However, smoking was not the only thing people from Scotland prefer not to see in happening in public places – 40 per cent thought drinking alcohol should not be permitted in parks and one in five (19%) think passionate displays of affection should be put a stop to.

Dr Nitin Shori, Medical Director of the Pharmacy2U Online Doctor service and a working NHS GP, 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 the litter aspect.”

The research also investigated the smoking habits and revealed that one in 15 (7%) of those who tried to stop smoking in the past 12 months decided to quit because the current smoking ban made it less appealing to smoke socially.

Dr Shori added: “The popularity of smoking has been on a downward trend since the risks became more widely understood in the 1970s.

“Smoking is still a major cause of preventable disease and premature deaths in Britain, so health worries tend to be a big driver for patients who decide to quit.

“Its addictive nature means it can be a tough habit to break and although some succeed through willpower alone, others find nicotine replacement or prescription medication is helpful.”