Wednesday, 8 December 2010

ASH Scotland calls for new anti-smoking laws

Or does it? I have to say I am a little confused.

A writer in The Scotsman says ASH Scotland wants further legislation.

Sheila Duffy says it doesn't.

ASH Scotland's paper on the issue is pretty non-committal.

ASH Scotland's recent CRUK-funded paper Beyond Smoke-free backs up Sheila's position to an extent. It talks about interventions, consultations, social marketing projects. It does not refer to further legislation, but does  wish to remove current exemptions from smoking bans in the short term. In the long term, says the paper:
There is public support for more comprehensive tobacco control policies and a strong ethical justification for additional measures aimed at reducing exposure to second-hand smoke. In order to make advances and substantially reduce exposure to second-hand smoke in Scotland, new approaches are required to tackle this complex issue.
But just what does public support mean? 'Support' for removing the mental health exemption is claimed to be found in this paper (which has 'demonstrated support for this move') The paper includes strong criticisms of the consultation paper on removing the mental health exemption and also says (page 12):
Just over one-third (35%) of those who responded to this question recommended that the existing exemption which permits smoking in designated rooms be removed by amending the existing legislation.  [...]
The vast majority (81%) of patient representative groups advocated the retention of the status quo, as did 6 out of 10 of respondents who identified themselves as current service users
It also says: 'Around one in ten (12%) of respondents advocated producing detailed guidance material without amending the legislation.' This was the option the government has taken, and the guidance will appear early next year.
From ASH Scotland's contacts with smoking cessation practitioners at local level in Scotland, we know that services are awaiting government leadership on this issue. The Scottish Government plans to produce guidance to support psychiatric units to close their smoking rooms – we await publication with interest.
Thus ASH Scotland says there is 'support' for a policy that 81 per cent of patient respondents have opposed and only one-third of all respondents supported.

Based on their assessment of the facts, I conclude that The Scotsman's version of events is correct and that Sheila Duffy does want legislation that will ban smoking in cars and even in the home.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

ASH Scotland calls for stricter laws on Second Hand Smoke?