Scotland was the first country in the UK to ban smoking in pubs, but its drive for a "smoke-free" nation has hit the buffers, according to reports.

 

Smokers were banned in 2006 from smoking in enclosed public spaces, such as pubs and restaurants, and two years ago smoking was made illegal in cars with children as passengers.

But new figures show the number of Scots quitting the fags has fallen to a record low with around one in five, or about 850,000 adults, still lighting up across the nation. Only 59,767 attempted to quit last year, down from 121,386 in 2011/2012.

The figures reveal that the pub smoking ban had a huge impact on smoking and between 2003 and 2013, the number of smokers dropped by 7 per cent as the inability to light up indoors in pubs and bars took hold. It also had an impact on those who continued to smoke with the number of daily cigarettes consumed decreasing from 15 to 12 during a similar time period.

Yet, since 2013, when the Scottish government’s strategy of a tobacco-free generation began, the number of overall smokers has remained static at around 21 per cent.

The news follows another set of data from the USA which shows that smokers have worse diets than non-smokers.

Research from the Fairfield University, Conneticut, revealed smokers consumed around 200 more calories daily on salty snacks or sweet produce.

It also discovered smokers eat less fruit and vegetables, decreasing their intake of Vitamin C, and increasing further the risk of cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

According to the scientists, people who had never smoked consumed 1.79 calories per gram of food compared to 2.02 for smokers.

Interestingly, the data also showed that former smokers consumed more calories per gram of food – 1.84 – than those who had never smoked.