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SCOTLAND is to become "smoke-free" under ambitious plans being drawn up by Government ministers.

The SNP is to unveil its radical proposal to effectively end tobacco consumption in Scotland over the next two decades.

At the moment, New Zealand and Finland are the only other countries to have set the goal of becoming smoke-free by a particular date – 2025 and 2040 respectively.

The SNP, which is due to announce the ambition in the new year, has yet to fix a precise date for making the nation smoke-free – but it is expected to be in broadly the same time frame.

Internationally, it is generally considered that a smoking rate of less than 5% of the population is considered to be "smoke-free".

Campaigners said aiming to have a smoke-free Scotland by the early 2030s would be an "ambitious but realistic" aim.

John Watson, director of policy and communications at anti-tobacco charity Ash Scotland, said: "We could say 'let's look at it as being within a generation'.

"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.

"For the Scottish Government to set a date and say we want to be smoke-free by this date would be great, and I think would really strengthen the idea that Scotland is a leading nation in terms of tackling tobacco."


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