Lung cancer: Four in five Scots back a ban on smoking at the school gates a study reveals

Charity partnership Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Scotland surveyed 1,002 adults in Scotland and found four in five (81.1 per cent) want smoking outside school gates to be banned.

The charity said secondhand smoke, while harmful to everyone, is particularly dangerous for babies and children because their lungs are still growing.

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It said that young people who inhale other people’s smoke may experience delayed lung growth and an increased risk of developing asthma.

The charity is now calling on Scotland to follow Wales’s ban on smoking in areas where children and young people spend their time, such as school grounds and playgrounds.

Joseph Carter, head of Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Scotland, said: “To achieve Scotland’s smoke-free target of less than 5 per cent of adult smoking adults by 2034, we need to stop normalizing smoking around children.

“Passive smoking not only has adverse health effects on the lungs of children, but also increases the chance that they too will start smoking later in life.

“It is vital that we protect the next generation’s lungs from the effects of smoke.”

Four in five Scots support a smoking ban at school gates, research shows. (Credit: Getty)

He added: “That’s why we call on the new government to push for a ban on smoking around schools and playgrounds.”

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Alexander Stewart, Scottish Conservative MSP and Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Scotland’s smoking cessation champion, said the study results come as no surprise.

He said he fully supports a ban, adding: “Children look up to adults, especially parents, relatives or caregivers and if they smoke, they run the risk of their children seeing the habit as a ‘normal’ thing.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Stopping smoking at any time is one of the best things you can do for your health and we will always consider proposals from Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Scotland.

“Children are more vulnerable to breathing polluted air than adults because their airways are smaller and still developing. We also know that children breathe faster than adults and therefore inhale more of the harmful chemicals contained in secondhand smoke. Adults who do smoke should ensure that they are not near children or young people.”

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