Public support for outdoor smoking bans in Scotland

Should smoking be banned in public parks?Should smoking be banned in public parks?
Should smoking be banned in public parks?
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.

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.

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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.

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“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.”

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