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Health and tobacco bill goes out to views

3 July 2015

Submissions to the Scottish Parliament have been invited on the Scottish Government's Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc, and Care) Scotland Bill.

MSPs on the Health & Sport Committee are scrutinising the bill at stage 1 and have issued their call for evidence.

The bill would create a legal requirement for health and social care organisations to inform people when they have been harmed as a result of the care or treatment they have received, and to provide support to all involved. It would also establish a new criminal offence of ill treatment or wilful neglect of adults which would apply to individual health and social care workers, managers and supervisors.

Tobacco measures include a ban the sale of non-medicinal e-cigarettes to under-18s, and a new offence for an adult to buy them for someone under that age. E-cigarette retailers will be required to be registered on a central register, as tobacco retailers in Scotland currently are. Smoking in the vicinity of hospital buildings will also be made a statutory offence. 

Committee convener Duncan McNeil MSP said: “The proposals in this bill are wide ranging and if passed will impact on a number of aspects of people’s lives.

“The use of e-cigarettes has always been controversial, and how and if they should be regulated is an issue this committee has already considered.

“It’s important that the right balance is struck between regulating the use of e-cigarettes and supporting those using them as an alternative to more harmful tobacco products."

Speaking on the duty of candour his deputy Bob Doris MSP added: “Whilst on the face of it, this is something most people would agree with, it’s important that as a committee we determine what currently happens when something goes wrong but also how the bill proposes to improve the openness and support provided to patients who experience neglect or harm during their treatment."

Click here to view the call for evidence. The deadline for responses is 12 August 2015.

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