introduction | presentations | programme | venue | delegate list | supporters | sponsors | evaluation | photos
Scotland's smoking ban: How the smoke-free battle was won
ASH Scotland and other voluntary health groups played a central role in the campaign for smoke-free legislation in Scotland, lobbying for almost a decade. The tobacco industry and its allies fought this campaign every step of the way with expensive tactics and strategies. Up to 1000 life-long non-smokers in Scotland die every year as a result of exposure to second-hand smoke, amounting to 2000 preventable deaths a year when ex-smokers are taken into account. Scotland's smoke-free legislation marks a crucial turning point in improving the nation's health. ASH Scotland's report 'The Unwelcome Guest: How Scotland invited the tobacco industry to smoke outside' pulls together for the first time a record of how the smoke-free campaign was won.
Researchers were commissioned to trawl the Minnesota (USA) and Guildford (UK) tobacco industry depositories, using search terms specified by ASH Scotland. ASH Scotland researched information on various Scottish hospitality groups and smoker's rights groups; trawled media, research and government archives; and compiled a chronology of events dating from 1986, all of which contributed to outlining Scotland's smoke-free journey.
Internal tobacco industry documents from the 1990s demonstrate that the tactics used in their attempts to combat the Scottish smoke-free law are similar to strategies designed to scupper smoke-free legislation in other European countries. The report demonstrates how Scotland learned to combat these tactics from the experiences of colleagues in New York, the Republic of Ireland, Australia and Canada. In turn, 'The Unwelcome Guest' report goes out as a guide to all other countries contemplating or just starting their journey to smoke-free enclosed public places.
Dr Rachel Harrison took up post as the Senior Policy and Research Officer with ASH Scotland in March 2004, and became ASH Scotland's Policy and Research Manager in April 2006. Recent work includes lead authoring 'The Unwelcome Guest' report, which documents Scotland's journey to banning smoking in public places. Using internal tobacco industry documents, the report also highlights the tactics and strategies used by the tobacco industry to try and scupper the Scottish legislation. Rachel previously worked as the Information and Research Officer with PATH (Partnership Action on Tobacco and Health), an initiative managed by ASH Scotland that aims to reduce the number of people that smoke in Scotland. Rachel moved to tobacco control work from an academic background, having researched and taught in health and clinical psychology at the University of Edinburgh (2001-2002), and at Roehampton University, London (1996-2001), where she obtained her PhD researching quality of life in persons with severe neurological illness.
Dr Rachel Harrison
Policy and Research Manager
8 Frederick Street