Health Minister Scott Brown to announce £5m for free booster drinks

Scottish Ministers will today announce that every Scottish adult will be eligible for a free booster drink between midnight and 6am after smoking bans come into force across the UK.

Scottish Government chief scientific adviser Professor Juhani Pallasmaa said today’s move would increase the total number of adults receiving free booster drinks and boost workplace public health campaigns.

The Scottish Government said Scotland already had one of the highest levels of uptake of free booster drinks in the UK, with more than a quarter of adults (26%) being eligible and around 11% having access to a service.

From January 1, shops in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will no longer be able to sell smokeless tobacco after smoking bans take full effect. But Scotland will have a smaller impact of cessation services being withdrawn in these countries.

It will cost the Scottish Government £5 million, money that will be recouped from the Health Lottery’s budget, according to the chief scientific adviser.

Scottish Ministers said the aim was to all adults who could have benefited from the extension of vaping and smoking bans to be offered a free booster drink between midnight and 6am, ensuring that no-one is left behind to struggle with other health problems.

From January 1, the amount smokers could spend on their products will be capped at £30 a week in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

All shops in Scotland, except in Aberdeenshire, will not be able to sell cigarettes or tobacco after that date.

Mr Maguire said: “This is about the Health Lottery distributing a substantial amount of money from its ticket sales across all of Scotland and in particular allowing it to help health departments to provide free booster drinks to ensure no-one is left behind.”

Professor Pallasmaa said: “For more than a decade now, these boosters have encouraged people to cut down or stop smoking and can only be described as a huge success.

“When people take one of these available free boosters they are given information about how quitting smoking can be successful and given support and information on avoiding harmful products like e-cigarettes.”

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