Taking action on smoking and health
For immediate use
Health campaigners have pledged their support for an MSP’s bid to improve protection for workers selling age-restricted goods such as tobacco, alcohol or fireworks.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland has responded to a Scottish Parliament consultation, stressing the importance of keeping certain products out of the hands of children, and expressing concern at reports that retail staff frequently experience abuse for doing this.
Banning the sale of tobacco to children is an accepted part of efforts to improve public health. ASH Scotland’s submission highlights the importance of effective enforcement of these rules and adds that this should now include encouragement, support and protection for the retail staff who have to deliver these measures on a day-to-day basis.
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said:
“We know that most people who smoke started as children, and making it harder for children to get hold of tobacco has played a huge part in reducing youth smoking rates to their lowest level on record.
“We need to recognise the important role that retail staff play in delivering this progress. It is shop workers who are tasked with asking for proof of age, and denying a tobacco sale to anyone under 18. I am alarmed by the reports of regular abuse suffered by these staff in the course of doing their jobs and upholding laws protecting children.”
ASH Scotland was responding on the closing day of a consultation run by Daniel Johnson MSP, who is proposing a Member Bill to increase the protection for workers in the retail sector and those applying or enforcing an age-restriction in relation to the sale or supply of goods or services.
For further information contact ASH Scotland on 0131 225 4725 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes for Editors:
ASH Scotland is the national charity working to reduce the harm and inequality caused by smoking.
Further information, facts and figures on young people and smoking can be found at /media/5862/5youngpeople.pdf
The consultation document (http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/107499.aspx) reports that “92% of retail workers have reported physical or verbal abuse while at work” and “1 in 3 workers reported feeling less confident in asking for ID after being assaulted or abused”.
Information on the proposed Member Bill, which is already supported by retail organisations and trade unions, can be found at www.notpartofthejob.com
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity (SC 010412) and a company limited by guarantee(Scottish company no 141711). The registered office is 8 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HB.
ASH Scotland acknowledges with thanks the support of the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government in developing our website.