Scots smoke ban 'could save £300m'
A PUBLIC smoking ban in Scotland could save the economy nearly £300 million, according to experts.
The figure would more than offset the gloomiest forecasts of the damage a ban would inflict on the hospitality industry, it was argued at a Capital conference on smoking in public places.
And delegates heard that the figure did not include savings in the health service.
The forecast came from Scottish Executive-commissioned research carried out by Anne Ludbrook, of the University of Aberdeen.
An Executive spokesman said later: "It seems there is potential for Scotland following the model of New York, which has had little or no economic loss."
But he emphasised the findings were preliminary.
Ms Ludbrook told the conference at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on 9th September that various studies on the impact on the hospitality industry of a ban had produced an average forecast of £196m. But this was offset by the estimated £299m savings to the Scottish economy as a whole, she said.
The biggest element was a net saving of £283m in productivity gains from the cigarette breaks that would no longer be possible in workplaces if the ban went ahead.
There was also an estimated saving of £5m in fire damage and £9m in redecoration costs, she said.
Scottish Exec smoking in public places consulation