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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Ban smoking outside schools say health charities

This news post is about 2 years old

Passive smoking can cause long-term harm to young people

Asthma UK & the British Lung Foundation Scotland are calling for the Scottish Government to protect children’s lungs by banning smoking outside schools.  

A survey by Scotland’s leading lung health charity, Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Scotland, found that four in five (81.1%) of Scots want to see smoking banned outside schools.   

Passive smoking is harmful to everyone but even more so for babies and children whose lungs haven’t finished growing. It can cause a host of problems, including slowing lung growth and increasing their risk of developing asthma.  

The charity is calling for Scotland to follow Wales in banning smoking around areas where children and young people spend their time, such as school grounds and play areas.   

Joseph Carter, head of Asthma UK & British Lung Foundation Scotland, said: “To reach Scotland’s smoke-free target of less than 5% of adults smoking by 2034, we need to stop normalising smoking around children. Passive smoking not only has detrimental health effects on children’s lungs, but it also increases the likelihood that they too will become smokers later in life.   

“It is vital that we protect the next generation’s lungs from the effects of smoke. Currently each year in Scotland there are more than 50,000 hospital admissions attributable to smoking, which are preventable. That is why we are calling for the new government to commit to banning smoking around schools and playgrounds.” 

Alexander Stewart, Scottish Conservative MSP and Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Scotland’s Smoking Cessation Champion, said:  

“It comes as no surprise that recent polling by Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation Scotland shows that 81.2% of respondents favour a smoking ban at school gates and I am wholeheartedly behind this. Children look up to adults, especially parents, relatives or carers and if they smoke, they run the risk of allowing their children to consider the habit as a ‘normal’ thing to pursue. 

“As Asthma UK & British Lung Foundation’s Smoking Cessation Champion, I will do all I can to get the message across that we must stop this ‘normalisation’ of smoking and to join our collective push for a complete ban of smoking at school gates.” 



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Sarah Murray
about 2 years ago

I fully agree with everything in this report, but if hospitals cannot enforce the smoking ban in their grounds, even for their staff - how can schools be expected to enforce this? I suffer the effects of passive smoking from my downstairs neighbour, but can do nothing about it. Is it not time that smoking was banned full stop? Oh wait! the government would lose too much revenue! Perhaps they should be investing the revenue from smoking into the health service to support the long term effects?