Earlier this week the Scottish Government published a new tobacco control action plan which will formally ban smoking around hospital buildings, jails, school grounds and also in designated residential buildings or spaces.
“This idea could be extended to consulting on and exploring with agencies whether new applicants for social housing or relocation could be offered a choice of accommodation in smoke-free housing units – i.e. blocks or tenements in which there was no smoking allowed anywhere, reflecting residents’ choices,” says the report.
“We will explore with local authorities and housing associations the idea of tobacco-free clauses in tenancy agreements and smoke-free housing alternatives being offered in social housing.” it added.
Cancer Research UK welcomes these changes
And while smokers’ rights groups think that this measure is unreasonable, health campaigners amongst whom Professor Linda Bauld from Cancer Research UK are welcoming these changes. “Tobacco is the biggest preventable cause of cancer in Scotland and responsible for over 5,700 cancer cases every year. This new action plan to tackle smoking is much needed and will save lives,” said Bauld.
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell thinks that the government has “made good progress” on the tobacco-free goal set five years ago. “The action plan I’m publishing today demonstrates our commitment to the new public health priorities which include an ambition for a Scotland free from the harms caused by alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. All of these together can create a healthier Scotland,” she said.
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