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No smoking signs reminder to South Lakes businesses

SLDC Environmental Health Officer Peter Adams with a no-smoking sign that businesses are legally required to display at all entrances to their premises Credit: South Lakeland District Council

Businesses in South Lakeland are being reminded that it is a legal requirement to display ‘no smoking’ signs at all entrances to their premises.

Spot-checks by council officers have revealed a significant number of businesses are still not complying with the legislation.

The government introduced smoke-free laws in 2007, which made it an offence to smoke in virtually all enclosed public places, workplaces and public and work vehicles.

Managers of smoke-free premises have a legal responsibility to prevent people smoking and part of the law requires no smoking signs to be displayed in a prominent position at every entrance to the premises.

Failure to comply with the laws is a criminal offence. Failure to display no­ smoking signs carries a fixed penalty notice of £200 imposed on whoever manages or occupies the smoke-free premises or vehicle, or a maximum fine of £1,000 if prosecuted and convicted by a court.

South Lakeland District Council (SLDC) officers are responsible for enforcing the law and can offer information and support to help businesses meet their legal obligations.

The council operates a ‘progressive enforcement’ policy, giving advice to businesses initially and only resorting to prosecution if the business fails to act on the advice.

“So far everyone we have spoken to has listened to the advice and we haven’t needed to issue any fixed penalty notices.

“But our recent checks have shown there are still many businesses that are not complying with the law. We just want to remind them that there is the risk of a fine or prosecution if they don’t do something about it.’’

– SLDC Environmental Health Officer Peter Adams

NHS Dumfries and Galloway goes smoke free

NHS grounds in the region will be smoke free. Credit: PA

NHS grounds in Dumfries and Galloway are to become smoke free from March 31.

"From this date, patients, visitors and staff will be asked to wait until they are off NHS grounds before lighting up and smoking shelters will be removed from hospital grounds.

"This ambitious move to achieve smoke free status in the grounds of every hospital, health centre and NHS building across the country is part of a national drive to create a tobacco free generation within Scotland by 2034."

– NHS Dumfries and Galloway

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Council gives plain cigarette packets thumbs up

Cumbria County Council has welcomed news plain cigarette packaging could come into force in England by 2016.

Cigarette packets could be plain from May 2016. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The government has announced MPs will vote on the plan before the General Election in May.

If it passes, the law will mean packets need to be dull brown outside, and white inside.

The legislation won't apply to Scotland - unless Holyrood introduces similar rules.

Electronic cigarette use soars in Scotland

A health charity says there has been a five fold rise in the number of ex-smokers that now use electronic cigarettes in Scotland.

Ash Scotland's recent poll shows that the use of the electronic devices in the country has risen from three per cent to 14 per cent in four years.

E-cigarettes - or vaporizers - produce a vapour rather than smoke and are often used as an alternative to smoking.

E-cigarettes produce a vapour rather than smoke Credit: PA

Galashiels-based Dave Sidgwick told ITV Border he now uses a vaporizer after giving up smoking.

"I was sick of smoking, I just decided I would stop. I stopped last October, I smoked 50 cigarettes a day, and I went onto the vaporizer and I've never felt like a cigarette since."

Full report: Tobacco display ban in Scotland

Large retailers in Scotland are now banned from displaying cigarettes and tobacco products.

The ban will be rolled out to smaller shops in 2015.

Health campaigners say the law - which is already in force in England - will help stop young people smoking.

However, many retailers claim there is no evidence it will make a difference.

Kathryn Samson reports:

Your thoughts on tobacco display ban in Scotland

ITV Border has been asking the public whether they think the tobacco display ban, which has been brought into place in Scotland (for large retailers), will help deter smokers or not.

Below are some of your thoughts.

Anne Ellerton from Cumbria said:

"I think it will maybe help deter kids from starting but not adults."

Colin Riddell from Galashiels said:

"The government doesn't want people to stop smoking they just want to try and show the public that they are 'trying' to stop people from smoking.

"The truth is they need smokers as they make a huge deal of money from the smokers with unrealistic tax on cigarettes."

"The only effect this will have will be on the staff who will find it harder to locate the items. It certainly won't put off current smokers in my opinion."

– Sharon Douglas, Jedburgh

"The only way it will affect is if they stop making them. I'm a smoker, if i cant get them then i wouldn't smoke.

"Keeping them hidden is not going to make a differnce as petrol stations and smaller shops don't have to cover them up so whats the point people will smoke regardless."

– Kerry Yule, Kelso

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Tobacco display ban for Scottish supermarkets

Cigarette displays are now banned in large retailers in Scotland Credit: PA

New legislation comes in today to ban larger retailers in Scotland from displaying cigarettes and tobacco products.

Stores that do not comply could be convicted of a criminal offence or receive a fine from trading standards officers.

The ban is already in place in England and Wales.

It will be rolled out to smaller shops in 2015.

Car kids smoking ban plea

South of Scotland MSP Jim Hume is planning to launch a campaign to ban smoking in cars when children are present.

Australia, Canada and South Africa are among those countries who have already banned smoking in vehicles.

Mr Hume will consult on a proposal for a Members' Bill at Holyrood.

"Scotland faces an enormous challenge in changing our relationship with tobacco.

"By banning adults from smoking in their cars whilst children are present, we can build a fairer society which gives every child the best start in life.

"It doesn't seem fair that children should suffer from passive smoking during the school run.

"It doesn't seem fair that any child should have to be swallowed up in a cloud of tar and nicotine on their way to football or dance classes."

– MSP Jim Hume, Scottish Liberal Democrat

Government advisors in Hawick and Galashiels this week

A twenty a day smoker spends on average £50 a week on their habit, enough to feed a family of four for a week.

This week the Scottish Government is sending experts in breaking nicotine addiction to pharmacies in Borders towns to give free advice.

Stand location details are:

Mon 21st Jan - Morrisons, Mart Street, Hawick

Tues 22nd Jan - Asda Currie Road, Galashiels

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