A campaign to remind drivers not to smoke in public service vehicles has been launched by East Dunbartonshire Council and the East Dunbartonshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).
Fines of up to £50 can be issued to anyone caught breaking the law by lighting up behind the wheel of vehicles such as work vans, bin lorries, fire engines, taxis and buses.
Licensing Advisers from the Council’s Trading Standards & Licensing Team receive numerous complaints regarding the smell of smoke within some public service and business vehicles. Last year, a number of these were from tourists.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Police Scotland, Allander Coaches and East Dunbartonshire TOA Taxis have all pledged to support the campaign, which was launched at the Allander Leisure Centre.
Council Leader Councillor Rhondda Geekie said, “Our drivers have been reminded that it is against the law to smoke in the workplace, and public vehicles such as bin lorries are classed as places of work.
“If you have to smoke, don’t light up in your vehicle – take it outside or to a designated smoking area. Smoke can linger after it has been stubbed out, which can affect the health of others, as well as leaving an unpleasant smell.
Susan Manion, Chief Officer of the HSCP, added, “Smoking is a major public health issue and people have the right not to be subjected to it within the workplace. This campaign is a necessary reminder to smokers to consider the effect that their choices may have on their colleagues, as well as on members of the public who may also be using their vehicles.
“The HSCP offers a range of advice and support to anyone who would like to stop smoking, through its Smokefree Services across East Dunbartonshire, and this campaign will publicise where and when this service is available.”
The Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) (Scotland) Bill was introduced by Jim Hume MSP on December 15, 2014, and was designed to prohibit smoking in private motor vehicles in the presence of children. It was passed at Stage three on December 17, 2015 and passed into law on January 21, 2016.
Smokers’ group Forest has branded the regulations “patronising and unnecessary”.
But ministers and health campaigners say the move will protect children from being exposed to second hand smoke and take Scotland a step closer towards a target of being tobacco-free within two decades.