Scottish Ministerial Working Group on Tobacco Control minutes: February 2018

Minutes of the meeting of the Scottish Ministerial Working Group on Tobacco Control on 27 February 2018.

Attendees and apologies


  • Dr Andrew Fraser, NHS Health Scotland
  • Helen Reilly, British Medical Association
  • Paul Waterson, Scottish Licensed Trade Association  - Colin Wilkinson is now attending in his place
  • Moyra Burns, Scottish Health Promotion Managers
  • Karen Gray, Chair of Scottish Tobacco Free Alliance
  • Irene Johnstone, British Lung Foundation
  • Gregor McNie, Cancer Research UK
  • Garth Reid, NHS Health Scotland
  • Erin Robertson, British Medical Association
  • James Niven, Scottish Government
  • Garrick Smyth, COSLA


Ms Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport


  • Prof Sally Haw, University of Stirling
  • John Lee, Scottish Grocers Federation
  • Peter Cheema, Scottish Grocers Federation
  • Prof Gerard Hastings, University of Stirling
  • Adam Osprey, Community Pharmacy Scotland
  • Sheila Duffy, ASH Scotland
  • Colin Wilkinson, Scottish Licensed Trade Association
  • Craig Sommers, Chief Officers of Environmental Health Group
  • Dawn Adamson, Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland
  • Dr Alison McCallum, NHS Lothian
  • Prof Linda Bauld, University of Stirling
  • David Woodrow, National Federation of Retail Newsagents (Scotland)
  • Anna Bennett, Young Scot
  • Gillian Bruce, NHS Forth Valley
  • Prof Amanda Amos, University of Edinburgh

SG Officials:

  • Morris Fraser, Tobacco Control Team
  • Elaine Mitchell, Tobacco Control Team
  • John Glen, Tobacco Control Team
  • Kim McGibbon, Tobacco Control Team
  • Christina Brown, Tobacco Control Team
  • Julie Landsberg, Health and Social Care Analysis


  • Dr Andrew Fraser, NHS Health Scotland
  • Helen Reilly, British Medical Association
  • Paul Waterson, Scottish Licensed Trade Association  - Colin Wilkinson is now attending in his place
  • Moyra Burns, Scottish Health Promotion Managers
  • Karen Gray, Chair of Scottish Tobacco Free Alliance
  • Irene Johnstone, British Lung Foundation
  • Gregor McNie, Cancer Research UK
  • Garth Reid, NHS Health Scotland
  • Erin Robertson, British Medical Association
  • James Niven, Scottish Government
  • Garrick Smyth, COSLA

Items and actions

ITEM 1: Welcome and Introductions

1. The Minister welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked Members for their continued work to reduce the harm caused by tobacco.

2. The Minister asked Members to declare if there were any additions to the statements previously provided relating to Article 5.3.  The Group indicated that there were no further changes to report since the previous meeting.

3. The Minister noted apologies and that the minutes of the last meeting of 29 March 2017 had been cleared in advance of the meeting.  There were no additional comments on the Minutes.  The Minister welcomed Gillian Bruce, Adam Osprey and Colin Wilkinson to their first meeting.

4. The Minister noted that since the last meeting the Register of Tobacco and Nicotine Vapour Products Retailers went live on 1 April 2017. The current Tobacco strategy was nearing its end and work is underway on the development of the next tobacco strategy.

ITEM 2: Smoking Prevalence 2017

5. Julie Landsberg gave a presentation to the group on Smoking statistics.  A link to the presentation is attached for ease of reference.

6. In discussion the following points were made:

a) Scotland is currently four percentage points behind where we hoped it would be in relation to the 2034 target

b) Statistics show that 60% of smokers were dual users (e-cigarettes and smoking)

ITEM 3: Sub-group Reports

7. John Glen provided an update on the Ministerial sub-groups.  The research sub-group continued to inform us about relevant Scottish, UK and International research in the field of Tobacco Control.  One recent outcome co-ordinated by the Group was the consensus statement on e-cigarettes which was issued in September 2017.

8. The age restricted group met late in 2017, and shared enforcement statistics and provided invaluable input to ensure the successful introduction of the Tobacco and NVP Register.

9. The prevention sub-group was reconvened and the main focus for the group would be on Prevention for those under the age of 25.  The next meeting will take place in April/May with a new Chair.  The focus on prevention has been maintained by Health Boards and other delivery partners during the last year.  NHS Lothian demonstrated the importance of maintaining momentum in its activities across schools, colleges and with youth workers, and has made inroads on the employability sector to make sure educational and information initiatives are in place and working well.  Further, they have piloted work on using NRT as a harm—reduction tool for young mothers to help protect young children.

10. The cessation coordinators have been involved in the development of the new national service brand – Quit Your Way.  Most Boards have already rebranded their services and Smokeline is already operating as Quit Your Way Scotland. 

11. Gillian Bruce provided an update regarding the work of the smoking cessation coordinators.  As well as working on and implementing the new Quit Your Way branding, they have also been working closely with the prison service ahead of the 1st November 2018 ban on smoking in prisons.

12. Adam Osprey provided an update on the work of Community Pharmacy Scotland.  A new Action Plan is being developed on how pharmacy owners can be better supported, which includes a focus on training support which has been identified as a need.

13. Comments were raised about the need for consistency across all boards in relation to the use of e-cigarettes in hospital grounds, not just for patients who move between boards, but also for prisoners who move between prison and hospital care.  There are some boards who do not permit the use of e-cigarettes in their hospital grounds, and there are boards who do.  It was agreed that we do not want to start allowing the use of e-cigarettes within hospitals, but that use of them within the grounds should be allowed.  This is something which will feature in our new strategy, and the consensus statement on e-cigarettes could be used here to gain a footing.

14. Amanda Amos provided an update on a Cancer Research analysis of cessation services.  This found that Scottish services are helping to reduce inequalities, and remain equity positive despite the move from 4-week to 12-week review.  Linda Bauld also commented that analyses of stop smoking services across the UK showed that Scotland’s services are currently better placed.

15. Sally Haw presented to the group on the work of the DISPLAY study. A copy of this is attached.

16. Questions were asked about the incentivising of retailers by representatives from Tobacco companies. Incentivising tended to be around price, product prominence within gantries and the recommending of a certain brand to customers.  This resulted in retailers unknowingly committing an offence, and reps were committing an offence by offering prizes to retailers. Pete Cheema confirmed that SGF would be happy to send out a memo to their retailers reiterating that activity like this was against the law.  He confirmed he would be happy to work on this with the Scottish Government and with Trading Standards.

17. Dawn Adamson reported on the work of the age-restricted sales group.  To date, 150 officers had received training on the e-cigarette legislation, and this includes the 20 new trading standards officers. Officers conducted a number of advisory visits with retailers regarding the new e-cigarette registration process.

18. John Lee informed the group that the booklet created by SGF about the Tobacco and Nicotine Vapour Products Retailer Register had been impactful, with 4000 of them distributed so far via trading standards officers. They also developed a similar guide on minimum unit pricing.

19. Kim McGibbon provided an update on the Tobacco and Nicotine Vapour products Retailers Register.  This went live on 1st April 2017, and retailers were given six months to register before fines could be issued.  The first few months were very busy for the team, dealing with requests from retailers and trading standards, and working with the technical team to help to improve the register following feedback from users.  The register has been adopted in the rest of the UK, except for England.

Other areas within Scottish Government have been in touch to discuss the use of a register, the most recent contact coming from the burial and cremations team. 

20. Linda Bauld provided an update on the research sub-group.  Kate Burton and Sean Semple were looking into how the prison smoking ban would be advertised in the media. Graham Moore was looking at SALSUS, Welsh and English data which will take into account from 250,000 students.  It showed no evidence that e-cigarettes had re-normalised smoking among young people.  Participants have been recruited for a study looking into the use of incentives to reduce smoking in pregnancy, and similar studies have looked at the use of incentives for those with lung cancer.

ITEMS 4 and 5: Legislation and Tobacco Control Strategy 2018

21. Morris Fraser provided an update on the refresh of the Tobacco Control strategy, which was expected to be published in May or June 2018.  It would be aligned with refreshed strategies which are also being developed for Obesity, Alcohol, Physical Activity and Substance Misuse.  The reason for this is that the work overlaps with a lot of these areas, and uses similar delivery partners.

22. A draft of the strategy will be shared for comment before being finalised.

23. Cessation will remain a priority in the new strategy.  There will also be a three month campaign beginning in April 2018, which will involve TV and radio adverts around smoking cessation. 

24. Other areas being considered are price, availability and density of tobacco retail outlets of cigarettes.  On price, the Scottish Government will look at evidence across the world.  In relation to creating a minimum pack price, this will be examined further.  Smoking in pregnancy continues to be an area which will be looked at, and the incentives study will be important part of the process.  

25. In relation to legislation,  smoking on hospital grounds will come into force later this year.  On 25 November 2017 the sale of e-cigarettes through vending machines was banned.  We are also looking at legislation for a ban on e-cigarette posters and advertising.  Further legislation will have to wait until post-Brexit.  Another measure that could be considered is conditional registration.


26. No other business was noted.

Back to top