A team of top West of Scotland cancer doctors have thrown their weight behind the Scottish Executive's Smoking in Public Places consultation.
Ten consultant oncologists from the Beaston Oncology Centre, which provides specialist cancer care services to some 2.8 million Scots – 60 % of the Scottish population - have written an open letter to the First Minister, Jack McConnell, in support of a ban on smoking in public places.
In the letter the consultants said: "As cancer doctors, we want to see fewer smokers because that will mean less lung cancer, less head and neck cancer, less bladder cancer, less gullet cancer and a reduction in other diseases. We know what our patients suffer and what they put up with when they develop these diseases. We believe a legislative ban on smoking in public places will, with other measures, reduce the suffering and death we, too often, must deal with."
One of the co-signatories of the letter, Professor Alan Rodger, the Beatson's Medical Director, explained that tobacco smoking is the most significant cause of early death in Scots and believes that a complete ban would prevent so many needless deaths.
The Scottish Executive's public consultation on smoking in public places was launched on June 7 2004 and will conclude on 30 September 2004.
Media enquiries: Emma Gregory on 0141 201 3964.
Notes to Editor:
The letter to Scotland's First Minister was sent by:
Professor J Cassidy Dr N Mohammed
Dr J Evans Dr N O'Rourke
Dr J Fraser Dr D Ritchie
Dr R Jones Professor A Rodger
Dr M Mano Dr M Russell