Angus MSP backs smoking target

NIGEL Don, MSP for Angus North and Mearns, is pleased to support Scotland’s ambitious target to reduce smoking to less than five per cent of the population by the year 2034.

The strategy has been proposed by the Scottish Government and it includes new standardised packaging, education programmes for young people, smoke-free hospital grounds by 2015, a marketing campaign on the dangers posed by second-hand smoke, and it would set a target for reducing children’s exposure to second-hand smoke.

The Scottish Government will await the UK Government and the other Devolved Administrations’ responses to the United Kingdom wide consultation on standardised packaging before deciding on the most appropriate legislative option for introducing this initiative.

Nigel Don MSP said: “I am pleased to support the recently announced strategies proposed by the Minister for Public Health.

“No one can dispute that the Scottish Government is taking the health of its people seriously.

“By adopting policies to drastically reduce smoking over the next two decades, we will make Scotland a leader among nations.”

Mr Matheson said: “We’ve already seen the huge health benefits that followed the ban on smoking in public places. This Government is determined to build on this success, improving health and reducing health inequalities by reducing the number of people smoking.”

Smoking is still one of the biggest contributory factors to Scotland’s poor health record

In 2004, it was estimated that 13,473 deaths were attributed to smoking, equating to 24 percent of all deaths in Scotland.

Smoking among adults has gradually declined from a level of 30.7 percent in 1999 to 24.2 per cent in 2010. From 2007 to 2009 there was a fairly steady decrease from 25.7 percent to 24.3 per cent.

While there has been a decrease of 6.5 percentage points since 1999, the National Performance Framework target of reducing smoking rates among adults to 22 per cent by 2010 had not been met.