Endgame: Scotland to go smoke-free ‘within a generation’

The Scottish National party (SNP) is planning on making Scotland totally smoke-free within the next two decades, according to reports.

The effort will make the Alex Salmond administration one of the most radically anti-tobacco governments in the world. Only New Zealand and Finland have set a smoke-free target date so far – of 2025 and 2040 respectively.

"For somebody born next year, let's try and achieve the target by the time they reach 18 or 21, so we are looking ahead to the next generation living their lives free from tobacco,"

John Watson, director of policy at anti-tobacco charity Ash Scotland, told the Herald Scotland newspaper.

The SNP will release details of their precise date in the new year.

The generally-accepted basis of becoming smoke-free is when less than five per cent of the population smoke. Figures from 1999 showed just above 30% of Scots smoke.

The country has seen significant declines in smoking rates since then, with a 23.3% reduction last year alone. It was one of the first nations to ban smoking in public places

The smoke-free target could be achieved by limiting distribution networks, a move which started recently when a health levy on the business rates of large stores selling cigarettes and alcohol saw Sainsbury's drop tobacco products entirely.