scotlandScotland became the first part of the UK to ban smoking in enclosed public places when legislation came into force at 6am on Sunday, March 26, 2006.

In November 2004, First Minister Jack McConnell had announced in the Scottish Parliament that there would be legislation.

In April 2005, the general principles of the Smoking, Health and Social Care Bill were debated at Stage 1 in Parliament and passed. At the Stage 2 debate (June 14th 2005), a number of MSPs proposed amendments to the Bill that would have weakened the policy intention, including trying to win exemptions for actors on the stage, and for certain liquor-licensed premises. An amendment was also put forward for first offences to go unpunished. These amendments were not supported.

Other Stage 2 amendments that further strengthened the Bill were passed, including the proposal to widen the definition of ‘smoking’ in public places to include the use of herbal cigarettes, and the proposal to prohibit smoking in partially enclosed, as well as wholly enclosed public places.

On June 30, 2005, the Scottish Parliament voted by a majority of 97 to 17 in favour of the new law, with one abstention. The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 came into effect on March 26, 2006.

Premises classed as ‘non-smoking’ under the regulations are as follows:

  • restaurants
  • bars and public houses
  • shops and shopping centres
  • hotels
  • libraries, archives, museums and galleries
  • cinemas, concert halls, theatres, bingo halls, gaming and amusement arcades, casinos, dance halls, discotheques and other premises used for the entertainment of members of the public Premises used as a broadcasting studio or film studio or for the recording of a performance with a view to its use in a programme service or in a film intended for public exhibition
  • halls and any other premises used for the assembly of members of the public for social or recreational purposes
  • conference centres, public halls and exhibition halls
  • public toilets
  • club premises
  • offices, factories and other non-domestic premises in which more than one persons works
  • educational institution premises
  • premises providing care home services, sheltered housing, secure accommodation services (and offender accommodation services/bail hostels)
  • hospitals, hospices, psychiatric hospitals, psychiatric units and health care premises
  • creches, day nurseries, day centres and other premises used for the day care of children or adults
  • premises used for, or in connection with, public worship or religious instruction, or the social or recreational activities of a religious body
  • sports centres
  • airport passenger terminals and any other public transportation facilities
  • public transportation vehicles
  • vehicles which one or more persons use for work
  • public telephone kiosks

Proposed exemptions under the regulations are:

  • Residential accommodation
  • Designated rooms in adult care homes
  • Adult hospices
  • Designated rooms in psychiatric hospitals and psychiatric units
  • Designated hotel bedrooms
  • Detention or interview rooms which are designated rooms
  • Designated rooms in offender accommodation service premises (bail hostels)
  • Offshore installations
  • Private vehicles

The Scottish Executive’s Clearing the Air website includes up to date information on all aspects of the legislation.

Clearing the Air website (new window)

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ASH Scotland