The Scottish First Minister, Jack McConnell, announced in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon that the Scottish Executive is to legislate against smoking in enclosed public places, supported by fines against businesses who fail to comply and against individuals who are persistent offenders. The legislation is to be introduced before Christmas this year and is expected to become effective in Spring 2006.
As a lifetime non-smoker I am neither in favour of nor against this legislation. I am not militantly opposed to smoking and often observe that it is those who were smokers formerly who become the most opposed to it. On the other hand, it is true that many public places become unpleasant for me because of the smoke-filled air, but perhaps even more because fabrics and furnishings become impregnated with stale smoke. Assuming that this legislation passes, and assuming that most businesses comply, it will require refurbishment of many affected premises to remove long-standing odours. That's really all I have to say about this - possibly it will have a long-term beneficial effect on the general health of people in Scotland, in itself no bad thing as we tend to be well down the league tables on many health criteria.