Shoppers urged not to smoke or vape while waiting in queues

Interim chief medical officer wants traders to put up no-smoking or vaping signs outside shops.

Shoppers urged not to smoke or vape while waiting in queues Getty Images

Customers are being urged to not smoke or vape while queuing to enter shops.

Scotland’s interim chief medical officer Dr Gregor Smith has written to retail industry bodies asking for signs to be erected outside shops.

He pointed to public concerns over the spread of coronavirus, however acknowledged there was no evidence to suggest Covid-19 could be transmitted through smoking or vaping.

Dr Smith wrote: “The Scottish Government would like to request that retailers take steps to discourage people from smoking or vaping whilst waiting in queues to enter premises.

“This request follows a significant volume of correspondence received by ourselves from concerned members of the public around the practice by a minority of people.”

The letter acknowledges there is no scientific evidence to suggest that Covid-19 can be spread through smoke and vape drift.

But Dr Smith said a response was necessary as the issue has been raised as a public concern, over and above the fact that many find the passive inhaling of tobacco or vape drift unpleasant.

Huge queues formed outside retailers in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen this week after non-essential shops were allowed to reopen for business.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon urged shoppers to act responsibly and not to “squander” virus progress as more shops reopen.

She tweeted: “If you plan on visiting shops today, please do so responsibly.”

Dr Smith said the Scottish Government was working with Scottish Trading Standards, the Scottish Retailers Consortium, and Scottish Grocers Federation.

He wrote: “I, therefore, ask for your support to consider placing signs or notices outside your premises to encourage individuals not to smoke or vape whilst waiting in queues, for the consideration and comfort of others.”

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