BMA Scotland has warned that children who
smoke face years of tobacco addiction that can lead to life-threatening
diseases and premature death.
The association also called on MSPs to
support the proposals contained in the Tobacco and Primary Medical services
(Scotland) Bill in order to reduce children's exposure to tobacco products.
Findings in the Scottish Schools Adolescent
Lifestyle and Substance Use Survey (SALSUS) published today show that although
it is illegal to sell cigarettes to children under the age of 18, 42% of 13
year old regular smokers and 57% of 15 year old regular smokers reported buying
cigarettes from a shop and 13% of 13 year old regular smokers and 10% of 15
year old regular smokers from a vending machine.
In order to achieve a smokefree Scotland by
2035, BMA Scotland wants to see a robust approach to tobacco control in order
to reduce the number of teens who smoke.
Dr Peter Terry, Chairman of the BMA in
"It is essential that cigarettes are made
less accessible to children. Banning point of sale displays and getting rid of
tobacco vending machines will go some way to doing this.
"Smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease
and respiratory problems. It ages skin, makes your breath smell and stains
fingers yellow. Every day doctors witness the death and despair caused by
"We need to break the tobacco trap. Young
smokers will become tomorrow's parents who smoke and they will continue the
cycle of smoking-related ill-health."