Scotland’s chief medical officer has added to the growing calls for smoking
to be banned in the workplace.
In his annual report, Mac Armstrong said Scots needed to pay more heed to
the risks of smoking, both to themselves and those around them.
His call follows that of his counterpart in England, Liam Donaldson, who has
also suggested that smoking should be banned in workplaces. At present,
employers are simply encouraged to make workplaces smoke free through a code of
Armstrong said: "Smoking is the biggest cause of preventable premature
death and ill-health in Scotland. Around 13,000 Scots die each year from
smoking-related illnesses, costing the NHS an estimated £200m.
"Passive smokers suffer an increased risk of smoking-related diseases,
and second-hand smoke is also thought to be a major cause of asthma in
"Smoking remains a serious problem for Glasgow in particular, with more
than 34 per cent of the population still smoking. A calculation of the possible
impact of a smoking ban in workplaces in Glasgow suggests that up to 1,000
fewer people a year would die of heart disease, respiratory diseases and
cancer," he added.
It is estimated at least 20 to 25 per cent of all deaths in Scotland result
from smoking, with the country having the highest rates of lung cancer in
Europe for both men and women, with most cases caused by smoking.
His call was welcomed by the British Medical Association (BMA), which has
long demanded a ban on smoking in workplaces and other public places.
John Garner, chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said: "A review of the
charter published last year showed that targets had not been met, indeed it
failed to find a single smoke-free Scottish pub. Most worryingly, less than
half of all premises surveyed had even heard of the charter."