Public Health Bill

3rd August 2015

Public Health Bill

With more and more adults saying that they have successfully quit smoking tobacco as a result of using e-cigarettes, there has been an increase in the level of support for the electronic devices. The Scottish Government is the most recent public body to voice its approval.

However, while there is an emerging consensus that their usage among adult smokers is acceptable, there are those who have made the argument that young people should not be able to purchase the devices.

The smokers among you will know that the younger you start the harder it is to stop.  It’s with this in mind, that those against the sale of e-cigarettes to teenagers have raised their concerns.

There is apprehension that they could act as a gateway to smoked tobacco because they are high-tech and glitzy and therefore more appealing to young people. The case has also been made they might encourage teenagers to develop smoking like habits.

It is in response to such concerns that the Scottish Government, as part of its new Public Health Bill, is planning to make it an offence to sell e-cigarettes to under 18s.

Do you agree or disagree with this measure? The Health committee which I convene will shortly begin scrutinising the Bill and would welcome your views.

Another aspect of the Scottish Government’s Bill the committee would like to hear your perspective on, is the proposal to ban smoking outside hospital buildings.

The issue of people lighting up outside IRH has irked my constituents in the past. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde introduced a smoke free ground to try and tackle this in 2013. But as the Telegraph reported early last year a group of hardcore smokers continued to ignore the new rules. Perhaps this new bill will deter these types of smokers. What do you think?

To read more about the Public Health Bill and to submit your views please visit the Scottish Parliament’s website at

As ever, your submissions will help inform and shape and committee’s work and ultimately result in stronger legislation.