Smoking, Health & Social Care Bill
This briefing sets out UNISON Scotland's position
on Stage 3 of the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Bill
to be debated on Thursday 30 June 2005.
UNISON Scotland remains of the view that a ban on
smoking in enclosed public places would impact positively on public
health. Second-hand smoke kills up to 1000 lifelong non-smokers
in Scotland every year. Evidence from other jurisdictions, including
Ireland, indicates that the overwhelming majority of the public
believes it is a success.
Ventilation is not an adequate alternative. The
evidence indicates that ventilation does not remove the carcinogens
and the proper safety approach is to remove the risk when it is
reasonably practicable to do so. Exempting non-food areas as proposed
in England is also in our view misguided. The English proposals
have been widely criticised in that country and we should not
dilute our provisions in this manner. We support the additional
powers to vary the legal age for the sale of tobacco.
We believe that our members in environmental health
departments provided resources are made available for that purpose
can enforce the Bill. If additional resources are not provided
then other environmental health priorities will suffer.
UNISON Scotland is strongly opposed to section 31
of the Bill and support amendment 2 (Carolyn Leckie MSP) proposing
its deletion from the Bill. This section gives health boards wide
ranging powers to enter into joint ventures (including clinical
services), a new form of the failed and expensive PFI provisions.
In recent weeks the Inverness Airport terminal has
had to be bought back from a failed PFI, further concerns over
failures at the ERI and the need for further expenditure on schools
where some £500m has been wasted on PFI compared to conventional
borrowing. In this context encouraging a new form of waste in
the form of joint ventures is frankly staggering. Giving an old
failure a new name is no solution.
The joint venture model has additional problems
including the distortion of local priorities and potential conflicts
for public sector staff serving as Directors. If there is evidence
that this model is successful elsewhere then the Executive could
reintroduce the provision in a more appropriate Bill.
UNISON Scotland therefore welcomes the Smoking and
other parts of this Bill other than Joint Ventures. It is to be
regretted that this Bill deals with such diverse subjects and
urge support for the deletion section 31 of the Bill.
For further information contact:
Dave Watson, Scottish Organiser email@example.com
Tel. 07787 558410