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MSP Briefing Smoking, Health & Social Care Bill




MSP Briefing

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.

Joint Ventures

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 d.watson@unison.co.uk Tel. 07787 558410





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Further Information

Contacts list:

Dave Watson -

@ The P&I Team
14 West Campbell St
Glasgow G26RX
Tel 0845 355 0845
Fax 0141-307 2572