Tobacco control policy in Scotland: A qualitative study of expert views on successes, challenges and future actions

In 2013 the Scottish Government launched its tobacco strategy: ‘Creating a tobacco-free generation: A Tobacco Control Strategy for Scotland’ (Scottish Government, 2013). The strategy outlined 46 proposed actions with the aim of making Scotland tobacco-free by 2034. A review of the 2013 tobacco control strategy was published in August 2017 (Reid et al, 2017). It identified the positive impact of the strategy and highlighted the success of a number of key policy actions. However, it also revealed how much progress still needs to be made to reduce tobacco prevalence, particularly among the most deprived communities of Scotland. Furthermore, data from the Scottish Health Survey show that adult smoking prevalence has been static since 20131. This lack of progress highlights how much still needs to be done to tackle smoking.

NHS Health Scotland was asked to undertake further research to complement the literature review described previously (Reid et al, 2017). The focus of this research was to interview tobacco control experts based in Scotland, to seek their views on the impact of the strategy and suggestions for future actions.

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