Smoking Ban

I had an unexpected call from a journalist friend last night, who was asking for a comment on a story that at first I did not believe. It seems that there has been some kind of mistake made in the legislation on banning smoking in Scotland. Aparently, smoking has now become compulsory in church.

Anyway, there was something on Radio Scotland this morning, so it must be true. There is also this report from the BBC webpage: 

—Update 0830 – there was this in the Scotsman too:

—Further update at 1155  – this from the Herald: 


  1. Andrew Swift says

    Smoking silliness
    Happy first of April…

  2. Eric Stoddart says

    Is incense smoke?
    What the press and church authorities have failed to notice is that the real wording of the Smoking Ban (see below) possibly makes the use of incense in a service of worship an offence. It could be argued that the charcoal in the thurible, as a lit substance, is in a form that it can be smoked. It’s not merely a tobacco ban; herbal cigarettes, etc are prohibited in enclosed public spaces. You don’t have to have a cigarette to your lips to be subject to a fixed penalty!

    Various solutions might be possible to avoid committing a breach of the Act: churches could establish themselves as either psychiatic units, hotel bedrooms (designated as ‘smoking’) or research laboratories. With a bit of creative thinking some Christian communities might choose to worship offshore and be entitled to have a ‘smoking/incense’ room.

    Of course, there’s the intriguing possibility of church services using incense being held in pubs. If incense were to fall outside the ban then you can perhaps imagine the reaction of smokers standing in the rain, looking in through the window to watch worshippers through a foggy mist.

    Maybe Kelvin, you need to quiz your journalist friends on behalf of thurible carriers across Scotland before the penalties start mounting up?


    For real:

    The Smoking, Health and Social Care (Scotland) Act 2005, Part 1, sec. 4 defines smoking:

    “In this Part, “smoke” means smoke tobacco, any substance or mixture which includes it or any other substance or mixture; and a person is to be taken as smoking if the person is holding or otherwise in possession or control of lit tobacco, of any lit substance or mixture which includes tobacco or of any other lit substance or mixture which is in a form or in a receptacle in which it can be smoked.”

  3. Anonymous says

    The Law
    Oh no, persecution of piscys all over again.


    > or of any other lit substance or mixture
    > which is in a form or in a receptacle in which it can be smoked….

    …implies to me that to burn incense in a pipe or a cigarette might well be illegal in a church. Thuribles are designed to smoke, not to be smoked, officer.

  4. Anonymous says

    Thuribles ar the Ready
    Checked out the thuribles at St Mary’s this afternoon. All present and correct for your use from 31st May. New stocks of incense and charcol on order for H+F.

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