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About the Scottish Parliament

Parliament policies

Smoke-free policy

The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all passholders and visitors. Part of this commitment includes minimising the risks caused by passive smoking. With these commitments and legal responsibilities in mind, the policy has been developed to protect all building users from exposure to second-hand smoke and to assist compliance with the Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005.

Who is covered by this policy?

The policy applies to all users of the buildings, including all SPCB staff, MSPs and their staff, agency staff, contractors, volunteers and visitors. If you are responsible for any contractors, volunteers or visitors, you must ensure that they are aware of and comply with this policy.

What is the policy?

It is the policy of the SPCB that all of our enclosed workplaces, as well as certain other areas within the Parliamentary campus, are smoke-free.

Where can’t I smoke?

You may not smoke in any of the buildings in the Parliamentary campus, including the car park, garden area, delivery service area, main public entrance, Canongate entrance, Queensberry House entrance, other doorways and fire exits.

Where can I smoke?

You may smoke in the designated area of the courtyard outside Queensberry House. If you are using this designated area, please only smoke in the vicinity of the bins provided. These bins have been placed away from the building in order to prevent any smoke permeating through the windows of those offices that face on to the courtyard. Please also be considerate of the impact of noise levels on those working in rooms facing on to the courtyard.

You can also smoke in the public part of the Parliament’s grounds or you can choose to leave the Parliamentary campus. You should move a reasonable distance away from the buildings and ensure that you do not get in the way of others or be a nuisance to any of our neighbours. You should also refrain from dropping any litter. Environmental wardens patrol this area and will issue an on-the-spot fine for anyone caught doing so. Please also remember that you should not wear your pass when outside the parliamentary complex.

You may smoke in the Canongate entrance to the building but only outwith the business hours of Monday to Friday 7am to 7:30pm. You may only smoke in this area outwith these hours, for example if you are attending an evening function, or on other occasions when the designated smoking area outside Queensberry House is not available. In either area, please only smoke in the vicinity of the bins provided.

Implementation of the policy

Overall responsibility for policy implementation and review rests with the SPCB. Everyone is obliged to adhere to, and facilitate the implementation of the policy.

Appropriate action will be taken to inform all new and existing SPCB staff, MSPs and their staff, agency staff, contractors, volunteers and other building users of the policy and their role in the implementation and monitoring of the policy.

Appropriate ‘No Smoking’ signs will be clearly displayed at the entrances to and within the premises.

Any complaint can be made to Facilities Management on 0131 348 5100 or by contacting the Visitor Services desk.

The policy will be monitored and reviewed on a regular basis.

What if I decide not to comply?

If you do not comply with this policy, and you are a member of SPCB staff, you may be subject to disciplinary action as set out in the disciplinary procedures.

If you are not a member of SPCB staff, then any incidents will be reported to the relevant office/employer. Members will be aware that the Code of Conduct for members makes reference to the SPCB smoke free policy.

Further, since it is against the law to smoke in enclosed public places, you may also be liable to a fixed penalty fine and possible criminal prosecution.

What about electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are relatively new, and the risks to users and those around them have not been fully established. Additionally, concerns have been expressed by senior public health officials that their use could perpetuate the idea that smoking is acceptable in public areas.

Because of the possible impact on public health improvement measures and the uncertainty regarding the possible risks, the use of e-cigarettes shall be subject to the same restrictions as smoking in the Scottish Parliament.