Anti-smoking campaigners have called for a continued effort to reduce more than 13,000 smoking-related deaths every year in Scotland, ahead of Saturday's fifth anniversary of the public smoking ban.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of anti-tobacco charity ASH Scotland, said research has shown that "Scotland is a healthier nation for having introduced smoke-free public places", but said Scotland must continue to take "all steps necessary" to reduce deaths further.
She said: "We are now feeling real health benefits from the ban which protects workers and others from the harmful impact of second-hand smoke.
"The legislation is widely supported in terms of both public opinion and compliance and it is now hard to believe that we let smoking go on so long in our public places.
"This legislation would not have been passed without the strong voice and campaign of numerous health and civic organisations and the commitment of MSPs who wanted to reduce the harm caused by second-hand smoke.
"This courageous legislation is an excellent example of devolution working for the people of Scotland and it is no surprise it is often cited as the best achievement of the Scottish Parliament.
"Over the past five years we have also seen many more countries and regions follow Scotland's lead in tackling the harm caused by smoking. In Scotland 13,300 deaths are attributed to smoking every year. Behind that loss of life there are also many thousands of people enduring illnesses caused by tobacco.
"We must continue to take all steps we can to reduce these preventable deaths and diseases amongst our nation and stop young people becoming hooked to this addictive and lethal substance.
"A number of research studies have evaluated the impact of smoke-free public places and demonstrated excellent health outcomes for Scotland.
"These include a 39% reduction in second-hand smoke exposure amongst non-smoking adults and 11-year-olds; an 86% improvement in air quality in bars; an 89% reduction in SHS exposure in bar workers and improvements in their respiratory health; a 17% reduction in hospital admissions for acute coronary syndrome, and a reduction in the rate of child asthma admissions of 18% per year compared to an increase of 5% per year in the years preceding it."