Tue 7 Jul 20
The Scottish Government would like to request that retailers
take steps to discourage people from smoking or vaping
whilst waiting in queues to enter premises.
This request follows a significant volume of correspondence
received by ourselves from concerned members of the public
around the practice by a minority of people. While we stress
that there is no scientific evidence to suggest that the Covid-
19 virus can be spread though smoke and vape drift, this has
been raised as a public concern over and above the fact that
many find the passive inhaling of tobacco or vape drift
The dangers of second hand tobacco smoke are well
understood and there is a known health risk to people in
queues who are standing close to any clusters of people who
are smoking. There is no scientifically proven risk to health
from inhaling second hand vape.
Current laws governing where smoking is banned are
restricted to enclosed spaces where the dangers from
inhaling second-hand smoke are greater. Whether or not
individuals are permitted to smoke outside premises remains
at the discretion of management. This applies equally to
retail as it does to hospitality settings.
This Government has been working with Scottish Trading
Standards, the Scottish Retailers Consortium, and Scottish
Grocers Federation – organisations which collectively
represent the interests of most retailers across Scotland - to
seek support in introducing non-legally binding protective
measures that resolve the concerns expressed around the
practice of smoking and/ or vaping in the relative close
proximity of queues. We believe this should be discouraged
for the consideration and comfort of others.