Tobacco Control Policy in Scotland: A Qualitative Study of Expert Views on Successes, Challenges and Future Actions

Yvonne Laird, Fiona Myers, Garth Reid, John McAteer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Scottish Government launched a tobacco control strategy in 2013 with the ambition of making Scotland tobacco smoke-free by 2034. However, 17% of the adult population in Scotland smoke cigarettes. This study aimed to provide insight into why policies are successful or not and provide suggestions for future policy actions. Individual interviews with ten tobacco control experts were conducted and the results were analyzed using thematic analysis. Key successes included strong political leadership, mass media campaigns, legislation to address availability and marketing of cigarettes and tobacco products, and legislation to reduce second-hand smoke exposure. Challenges included implementing policy actions, monitoring and evaluation of tobacco control actions, addressing health inequalities in smoking prevalence, and external factors that influenced the success of policy actions. Key suggestions put forward for future policy actions included addressing the price and availability of tobacco products, maintaining strong political leadership on tobacco control, building on the success of the 'Take it Right Outside' mass media campaign with further mass media campaigns to tackle other aspects of tobacco control, and developing and testing methods of addressing inequalities in cigarette smoking prevalence. The findings of this study can inform future tobacco control policy in Scotland and have relevance for tobacco control policies in other countries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Tobacco Control Policy in Scotland: A Qualitative Study of Expert Views on Successes, Challenges and Future Actions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this