Scottish politicians most have the courage to protect the health of their constituents..

May 16, 2009 - British Medical Association (BMA) Scotland Urges Politicians To Be Bold On Tobacco Control In Face Of 'Scaremongering' Tactics Of Cigarette Producers And Retailers.

Six times as many Scots die from smoking than from road and other accidents, murder, suicide, falls and poisoning combined, according to anti-smoking campaigners. Figures obtained by the anti-smoking group Ash Scotland show that in the period 2003-04, 13,473 people died from smoking-related illnesses, compared with just 2,082 from traffic accidents, murders, suicides, accidents, falls and poisonings. (15,000 Scots take up smoking every year, continuing to replace those who quit or die.) ASH Scotland chief executive Sheila Duffy presented the information at the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland annual conference in Ayr.

Ms. Duffy: “One in four of all Scottish deaths are estimated to be smoking-related.
“It’s a staggering figure, and a tragic waste of life.” She said tobacco companies still manage to advertise their product, the only known substance to kill half its long-term regular users, with marketing and displays in every corner shop, petrol station and supermarket. “One in four of all Scottish deaths are estimated to be smoking-related. It’s a staggering figure, and a tragic waste of life. She said that the tobacco industry was fighting “tooth and nail” at Holyrood (location of the Scottish Parliament) to stop the government’s plans.

The main issue is a proposal to ban tobacco displays beside cash registers which small newsagents and other corner shops claim will hit them in the pocket. The government is also planning to ban cigarette-vending machines as part of efforts to deter youngsters from becoming smokers. Reports find that one in ten regular smokers aged 13 and 15 buy tobacco from vending machines. BMA - Scotland's politicians have the courage and the confidence to take steps to protect the health of our children. It is now their job to put health before the interests of an industry that profits from sales of addictive and deadly substances.

Reference: Scottish smokers are silent victims, claims campaigner
‘smoking-related diseases kill six times as many as accidents, murder, suicide, falls and poisoning’
by Tim Pauling, The Press and Journal, 5/14/2009.

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