PE01451: Review of smoking ban


Petitioner: Belinda Cunnison on behalf of Freedom to Choose (Scotland)


Date Lodged: 22 October 2012

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the smoking prohibition and control provisions of the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005 in the light of new developments in clean air technology and the European indoor air quality standard Ventilation for non-residential buildings, EN 13779.

Petition History:


27 November 2012: The Committee agreed to refer the petition under Rule 15.6.2 to the Health and Sport Committee. Link to Official Report 27 November 2012 (438KB pdf)

22 January 2013: The Health and Sport Committee considered petition PE1451 by Belinda Cunnison on behalf of Freedom to Choose on a review of smoking ban. After consideration, the Committee agreed to close the petition. Link to Official Report 22 January 2013 (365KB pdf)  

Secondary smoke is alleged to be so toxic that government has no option other than a comprehensive smoking ban because there is ‘no safe level of exposure to secondary smoke’. This claim lacks credibility, as no consistent evidential link has been found between secondary smoke exposure and ill health even after decades of exposure.

All toxins have safe levels listed in Health and Safety Executive Workplace Exposure Limits, EH40, 2005 updated 2011, in which tobacco smoke does not receive any mention (which it should, since there are still exemptions to the smoking ban). Since exposure to secondary smoke is alleged to be so dangerous, this seems a curious omission, suggesting that SHS is actually a negligible risk. Or does it confirm the official view that a safe level of secondary smoke cannot be defined?

Why have we isolated tobacco smoke as an ultra-toxic special case that cannot be controlled in the way we expect other toxins to be controlled?

Alec the Anonymous: The petitioner does not have the resources or money that GLOBAL TOBACCO CONTROL, THE GOVERNMENT, ANTI-SMOKING ALLIANCES and their SUPPORTING CHARITIES have to publicise their PROPAGANDA.

Eddie Douthwaite

16:57 on 22 Oct 2012

Alec the Anonymous: Stop hiding behind your anonimity. At least the Petitions Committee do not make their decisions based on the number of signatories of a petition. Talking of numbers ASH Scotland have 27 staff yet get funded £1MILLION a year by the Scottish Government. They must be one of the few "charities ?" that exist mainly on public funds, you never see them on the street collecting for their " Charity ?"

Eddie Douthwaite

13:34 on 22 Oct 2012

369 signatures at 23.33 on 21st October. 68 from Scotland, 301 from the rest of the world. It has been discussed in The Scotsman, and still the rest of the world seems to want us to change our smoking ban far more than Scots do. Considering the efforts made by the pro-smoking and tobacco lobby groups to promote this, 68 Scots is a particularly feeble showing.

Alec Johnston

23:38 on 21 Oct 2012

Eddie, if you read the forum you can see that I went to the site of the systems that the petitioner referred to, and they say it doesn't work for airborne carcinogenic chemicals like those in cigarette smoke. The petition is misleading, and your constant references to the evidence being on the internet is clearly wishful thinking, because you have failed to provide it. When the petitioner suggested a manufacturers site it said it wouldn't work. And not a single one of you has managed to show that your ventilation proposal will comply with EH40's requirements for carcinogens (because it won't). Lies, damned lies and tobacco industry propaganda.

Alec Johnston

23:31 on 21 Oct 2012

SHS is really deadly!!?? Wow this is great, it means I can get myself a soft top sports car now. Great, and it is also wonderfull because it means I can be behind a bus, lorry, or even another car I can then breath in the beautiful aroma of there fumes because its safer than breathing in deadly second hand smoke! When is the next trip to Afganistan????

Chris Rendall

15:54 on 21 Oct 2012

Eddie, if you're looking for lies, then you need go no further than this part of the petition "All toxins have safe levels listed in Health and Safety Executive Workplace Exposure Limits, EH40"

Alec Johnston

16:56 on 19 Oct 2012

Alec the Anonymous: If you know where to look on the Internet the evidence is available. Enjoy searching for it. Remember there are lies, damned lies and Tobacco Control.

Eddie Douthwaite

15:30 on 19 Oct 2012

Eddie, back on the 4th you said "The comprehensive evidence which will be given to the Petitions Committee by the petitioner will prove the effectiveness of Air Filtration systems". It might not be 'your petition' but you clearly feel you are involved with it, otherwise how would you know what they are going to present?

Alec Johnston

14:20 on 19 Oct 2012

Alec the Anonymous: As I said before, it is NOT my petition.

Eddie Douthwaite

13:35 on 19 Oct 2012

"I don't debate with a cardboard cutout". You have nothing to debate anyway. Your petition is wrong and misleading. The ventilation systems you're proposing don't comply with the requirements of EH40. The vast majority of the petition's signatures are from tobacco advocates outside Scotland.

Alec Johnston

10:29 on 19 Oct 2012

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