A rights-based approach to second-hand smoke: blog

Date: 27th July 2016
Category: Basic Health and Welfare
Author: ASH Scotland

ASH Scotland have written a blog for the Commissioner's Office. The blog is a useful resource for protecting children from the effects of second-hand smoke and why this matters from a rights perspective.


Last month on June 9, the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child reported that whilst progress has been made, the UK and devolved nations need to do more to prioritise children's rights. The Committee concluded with recommendations that need to be taken forward by the Scottish and UK Government as a matter of priority.

The Committee recommended that governments and devolved administrations need to:

"Provide children, including those with disabilities and children in marginalised and disadvantaged situations, with safe, accessible, inclusive and smoking-free spaces for play and socialization and public transport to access such spaces."

This advice resonates with ASH Scotland's approach to protecting children from smoke exposure, addiction and the commercial interests of big tobacco. In particular, this is directly aligned with the third principle of Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation that "all children should play, learn and socialise in places that are free from tobacco." This ambitious initiative aims to help deliver a tobacco-free generation by 2034, which would mean the children who are in nursery now can be the first generation to grow up free from the harm caused by tobacco.