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Tobacco Control Team
3EN, St Andrews House
Regent Road
Tel: 0131 244 2169



Smoking is the primary preventable cause of ill-health and premature death. Each year tobacco:

  • Kills around 10,000 Scots (one fifth of all deaths)
  • Is linked to 128,000 hospital admissions
  • Costs NHSScotland more than £300 million

That is why we have taken radical action to stub out smoking. We aim to create a tobacco free generation by 2034.  A generation of young people with no desire to smoke and free from the health and economic disadvantages that come with tobacco.


As we have become increasingly aware of the damages caused by tobacco, fewer people are taking up the habit and the Scottish Government has increased controls. 

Most recently, we have brought in new laws which:

  • Ban the sale of tobacco and Nicotine Vapour Products (NVPs) to under 18's
  • Ban the sale of Tobacco and Nicotine Vapour Products by under 18's without authorisation
  • Stop people buying these products for under 18’s
  • Require shops to seek proof of age for those who look under 25
  • Ask tobacco and NVP retailers to register 
  • Made it illegal to smoke in a car with children present

Coming up

Later this year we will make it an offence to smoke within 15 metres of a hospital building.  On-the-spot penalties of £50 will be given to those who do. 

We also plan new laws around the sale and promotion of NVPs and will take action to make prisons smoke free.


Great progress has been made in tackling the health inequalities caused by tobacco.  It is becoming unfashionable to smoke. We are discouraging young people from taking up smoking, helping those adults who do smoke to stop and protecting people from the harm caused by second-hand smoke.  

Various things have been done to achieve this. Among these we:

Tobacco Control Strategy

Raising Scotland’s Tobacco-free Generation, published on 20 June 2018, sets out  our plans for the next five years to guide children and young people on their journey to become Scotland’s first tobacco-free generation in 2034.

The strategy sets out 44  actions to address health inequalities and cut smoking rates in the communities where people find it most difficult to quit.

These include:

  • banning smoking around hospital buildings,

  • making prisons smoke-free, and

  • establishing a new national brand for the stop-smoking service.