Smoking ban in effect in Scotland

Sunday 26 March 2006 22.19
Smoking ban - Smoking in public places banned
Smoking ban - Smoking in public places banned

A new law has come into force in Scotland banning smoking in enclosed public places.

Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell, said Scotland had taken the largest single step for generations to improve its health.

The ban came into force at 6am.

It covers smoking in pubs, restaurants, railway stations and airports and is designed to protect bartenders and other workers from second-hand smoke.

Smokers who light up could face on the spot fines of £50.

The licensing trade has warned that the ban could lead to the closure of 140 pubs and 2,500 lost jobs.

Paul Hooper, from the anti-smoking group ASH, said public debate should focus on the beneficial effects of the new law.