Raising Scotland's tobacco-free generation: our tobacco control action plan 2018

Five-year action plan setting out interventions and policies to help reduce the use of and associated harms from using tobacco in Scotland.

Ministerial Foreword

Aileen Campbell, MSP Minister for Public Health and Sport

We all want to give our children the best possible start in life, and to protect them from harm as they grow up. One way we can all help with this is to fight the influence of tobacco over children and young people.

Five years ago we set an ambitious target to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034. Our aim is to protect children born since 2013 from tobacco so that when they start to turn 21 (from 2034) they will truly be tobacco-free and will come of age in a Scotland that will remain tobacco-free for generations to come. The first children in our 2013 tobacco-free generation turn five this year and the responsibility for them is one we all share. As they grow through their pre-teen years we need to help them avoid taking up a habit that they will later regret. Even those who have not yet managed to quit have a role to play - in not smoking around children. Cigarettes and smoking should be out of sight and out of mind for this next generation.

The best role-models will be those who don’t smoke or who manage to stop smoking successfully. I was lucky enough to spend some time with an inspiring group of ex-smokers when I visited a pharmacy in East Craigs, Edinburgh to mark No Smoking Day. I was struck by the different motivations they had for quitting. And whether it was because of a personal health scare or not, they each shared a common ambition - to protect children from ever taking the habit up.

I was also struck by the different things they found which worked for them to turn their attempts into successes. There’s no single approach that will work for everyone. That’s why we have improved the offer of help we now give through pharmacies and in hospitals and though our phone and web-based support. All these services now focus on the main message: Quit Your Way: with our support. I’d urge all smokers, even those who have tried to quit through our NHS services before, to give it another go. There are new, more effective medications and our services are now more e-cigarette friendly.

Scotland is one of the only countries in the world to have set a target to raise a tobacco-free generation. What we do over the next five years will help this generation get the best start possible in life.

Let’s all commit to raising Scotland’s tobacco-free generation.

Aileen Campbell, MSP
Minister for Public Health and Sport

Summary of Actions

Informing and Empowering through raising awareness

We will arrange and support media campaigns

“Getting Through 72”

Smoking cessation campaign to encourage more smokers to try to quit


“Green Curtain”

Campaign to raise awareness about the offence of smoking around hospital buildings


Smoking in school grounds, near school gates or around play parks

Make smoking less acceptable and reduce the visibility of smoking where children are present


“Take it Right Outside” - smoking in communal stairwells

Make smoking less acceptable and protect people in communal stairwells


Pharmacy window poster campaigns


Raise awareness of free, local support to quit through community pharmacies


No Smoking Day (annual)

Encourage smokers to make attempts to stop


World No Tobacco Day (annual)

Highlight the health and other risks associated with tobacco use and policies to reduce tobacco consumption


Proxy purchase


Help prevent young people taking up smoking


Illicit cigarettes

Help prevent young people taking up smoking


We will continue to co-fund ASH Scotland to provide important information, advice and training on smoking and health.


In mental health we will support ASH Scotland in rolling out its effective IMPACT advice and training on the relationship between smoking and mental health care.


We will continue to support NHS Health Scotland in its research, guidance, training and advice on smoking prevention, protection, cessation, electronic cigarettes and related health inequalities.


We will ensure midwives and other carers are involved in the further development of I Quit in Pregnancy and the forthcoming advice to parents and practitioners in Ready Steady Baby! – which will be published by NHS Health Scotland in early 2019.


We will ensure the action plan is monitored by the Ministerial Working Group on Tobacco Control and is robustly evaluated.


The Ministerial Working Group’s sub-group on Research and Evaluation will see an evaluation framework for this action plan developed and ensure that new and emerging evidence is summarised and made publicly available.


Informing and Empowering through raising awareness

We will ensure that all guidance published for enforcement of or compliance with regulations is developed with representatives of the non-tobacco industry groups affected [1] .


We will work with trading standards officers in Scotland and with retailers’ organisations to make sure retailers are aware of the circumstances under which sponsorship activity is illegal.


We will continue to support ASH Scotland in promoting Scotland’s Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation.


Encouraging healthier behaviour

We will support the inclusion of more up-to-date advice on electronic cigarettes into the Health and Wellbeing strand of education in schools in Scotland through the Curriculum for Excellence.


We will continue to support the call for schools to become Tobacco-free Schools, and look for opportunities to encourage more schools to take part, especially in areas where there is high smoking prevalence and where teenagers are under most pressure to smoke.


We will continue to support NUS Scotland to promote awareness and help with changes to make more campuses smoke-free.


We will facilitate a conference in 2019 to consider what more can be done to reach 16-24 year olds more effectively, either through youth engagement or employment settings.


We will review the evidence on the impact of smoking and consequent employee health on business costs to help encourage employers to embrace initiatives such as the Healthy Working Lives programme.


We will analyse the evaluations of incentive pilot studies by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Tayside to consider whether incentives schemes could be extended to other territories.


We plan to ban smoking around hospital buildings in 2018 – making it an offence to smoke within 15 metres of hospital buildings.


We will explore with local authorities and housing associations the idea of tobacco-free clauses in tenancy agreements and smoke-free housing alternatives being offered in social housing.


The Prevention sub group of the Ministerial Working Group will take work forward with practical help from NHS Health Scotland to provide support and guidance to boards and partnerships to ensure prevention initiatives are there for all children and young people.


Improving services

We will ensure the new national Quit Your Way identity is embedded locally and nationally to help smokers know that there are free, local and effective stop-smoking services available to them.


We will build on the Quit Your Way brand for specific stop–smoking initiatives and services such as for smoking in pregnancy and for smoking and mental health to build inclusivity and help overcome barriers to access for priority groups.


We will ensure the smoker’s journey from cessation services provided for them in hospitals and prisons is as integrated as possible with the services they can expect in their own communities on their return home.


We will work with health professionals, academics, representative groups and others [2] to develop guidance for health professionals and other relevant service providers so that they can offer basic advice on e-cigarette use as part of their support for smokers who choose to make quit attempts using e-cigarettes.


During the summer of 2018 we will work with health boards and integration boards to try to reach a consensus on whether vaping should or should not be allowed on hospital grounds through a consistent, national approach.


We will ensure the data-recording process in stop-smoking services is fit-for-purpose.


Providing protection through regulations and restrictions

The Scottish Government will implement the ban on possession of tobacco in prisons.


The Scottish Government will regulate to allow use of e-cigarettes in prisons.


We will consult on the detail of restricting domestic advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes in law.


We will gather evidence, assess the potential impacts of, and potentially legislate where appropriate

Ensuring communal landings become smoke-free.


Making cigarettes less attractive.


Banning the use of Heated Tobacco Products ( HTP) from public places.


Banning attractive flavourings in HTP.


Introducing standardised packaging for HTP.


Further restricting availability of tobacco products.


Considering additional price interventions for tobacco products.


Considering legislating to introduce conditions for registration or licencing of retail.


In addition to these new actions, there are also six important “legacy” actions from the 2013 Tobacco Control Strategy which we will continue to take. These can be found at the end of the Introduction Chapter.


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