March 22, 2011 - On Sunday 26 March 2006 6am. Scotland's smoking ban came into force. The only exemptions were prisons, residential homes and hospices, and designated rooms in hotels and psychiatric hospitals.
Five years on from its implementation on 26 March, 2006, the success or otherwise of the ban very much depends on who you ask.
Research in Glasgow has suggested almost immediate health benefits. One study in 2007 concluded heart attacks among non-smokers had fallen by a fifth since the ban came in. And last year more research found that the rate of hospitalisations for children with asthmatic symptoms had dropped by more than 18 per cent year-on-year since the ban, the assumption being smoker parents are also cutting down at home.
Jill Pell, professor of public health at Glasgow University, who was involved in the research, said: "We have seen improvements in many aspects of health, including reductions in heart disease and respiratory disease. The legislation has not only reduced exposure to tobacco smoke in public places, such as pubs, but has also resulted in an increase in voluntary restrictions in people's homes.
"As a result exposure has fallen among children too young to frequent pubs.
"Hospital admissions for asthma in children have already fallen and further benefits will be realised as children grow older and fewer develop heart disease and cancer than would otherwise have done so."
More comments on the five years of the smoking ban see Reference..
Widespread support for smoking ban in Scotland..
Reference: Five years of the smoking ban by Lyndsay Moss, Scotsman.com, 3/22/2011