May 27, 2008 - On 6am on Sunday March 26, 2006 Scotland led the UK in banning smoking in public places including bars and restaurants. As a result restaurants benefited especially chains that have seen double-digit growth. Waiters and bartenders have also benefited. Tests showed noticeable improvements in their lung function after only a few months. Now Public Health Minister Shona Robison announced an action plan to the Scottish Parliament, which also includes tobacco licensing and outlawing the sale of cigarettes in packs of 10. A major part of this plan is the banning of all tobacco dipslays. Ms Robison told the Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP): "Despite tobacco advertising having been banned in 2002, there are growing concerns that prominent displays of cigarettes and other tobacco products in shops and other points of sale are undermining our wider tobacco control efforts to denormalise smoking." She told MSP similar moves in other countries had not seen a dramatic impact on businesses. Ms. Robison, "The protection of children and young people from the impact of tobacco must be paramount and there are instances - and this is one - when the benefits to the public health of the nation must take precedence." His legislation is likely to be brought forward in 2009. References: Tobacco display ban plan unveiled, BBC News, 5/21/2008; Frost's Scottish Anatomy Lessons from Scotland's Smoking Ban BusinessWeek, 3/20/2007. - Incomplete in progress.. need to place links to related news briefs..