Calling it a hearing is something of an exaggeration. One member, Aileen McLeod MSP, introduces a letter with some supplementary evidence presented to her in person by her constituent Bill Gibson, and sent to other committee members subsequently.
Gil Paterson MSP talks of his experience with the automotive industry, comparing workers in a car workshop where he describes a sealed environment and gas masks. He then opines that there will never come a time, regardless of the advances made in air cleaning technology, when the smoking ban can be repealed safely.
Richard Simpson MSP says that the ventilation issue was settled way back in 2001, recommends closing the petition and abruptly leaves the committee room leaving the convenor, Duncan McNeil MSP, to wind up in his absence.
Glancing at the sheet in front of him (no doubt the Spice briefing) regaling tales of improvements in heart attack and asthma admission rates, he concludes that the smoking ban has been of great benefit and, no one dissenting, declares the petition closed.
No scrutiny of the evidence has taken place, nor suggestions made to call expert evidence on smoking and air cleaning technology. Mr McNeil declares that the smoking ban works according to Health and Safety Executive guidelines by removing the source of the pollution rather than providing ventilation, showing that he has chosen not to consider the possibility raised in the petition – namely, that removing smoking gets rid of a single source of indoor air pollution, leaving the remainder, and making very limited difference to any toxicity in the air.