In January 2004 the Scottish Executive published a tobacco control action plan, A Breath of Fresh Air for Scotland: Improving Scotlands Health the Challenge. The plan set out a range of measures to strengthen tobacco control, including prevention work, education and communications, controls on sales and the expansion of high quality cessation services.
The plan also looked at the possibility of imposing greater controls on smoking in public places in the face of a growing body of evidence that more restrictions would result in a significant improvement in the nations health.
Research shows that more than 13,000 people in Scotland die every year from the effects of smoking and within that number around 1,000 deaths could be attributed to passive smoking, that is breathing in other peoples tobacco smoke. This is also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) or second-hand smoke.
A consultation on possible changes in the law that followed attracted more than 53,000 responses. The findings showed that a large majority, 82%, thought that further action needed to be taken to reduce exposure to second-hand smoke. 80% of respondents said they would support a law creating smoke-free enclosed public places, with few exemptions.
The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill was introduced to Parliament on December 17, 2004, formally proposing that smoking should be banned in enclosed public places such as workplaces, pubs and restaurants.
The Bill was approved by MSPs on June 30, 2005, by a majority of 97 to 17 with one abstention.
It received Royal Assent on August 5, 2005, and the new Act came into force on March 26, 2006.