News & Comment

Banning smoking in play parks and outdoor sports facilities a "gross over-reaction"

Tue 18th February, 2020

Forest says campaigners must provide evidence that smoking in the open air is a threat to children's health before the government considers a ban on smoking in outdoor sports grounds and children's play areas.

The challenge comes as Rachael Hamilton, Conservative MSP for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, prepares to introduce a motion calling for a smoking ban for play parks and outdoor sports facilities on Wednesday 19 February.

Writing on her website, Hamilton says:

"Passive smoking in outdoor places still has a significant impact on our health, despite the smoking ban being enacted in Scotland over a decade ago.

"I am calling on the Scottish Government to follow the Welsh Government's example, by banning smoking in play parks, playgrounds and outdoor sports facilities, where children may be playing or participating in sport.

Simon Clark, director of Forest, said, "Banning smoking in play parks and outdoor sports grounds would be a gross over-reaction.

"Legislation must be evidence based and there is no proof that smoking outside, in the open air, is a threat to third parties, including young children.

"Given the negligible impact of smoking in the open air on other people's health, further legislation would merely highlight the chasm that exists between self-righteous politicians and ordinary people."

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