A FIFE MSP has joined a call to ban smoking outside schools.

Alexander Stewart, Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife, wants a stop to lighting up around schools after being re-installed as Asthma UK’s and the British Lung Foundation Scotland’s ‘Smoking Cessation Champion' in Parliament.

“The pulmonary reserve – which is a person’s ability to withstand deterioration in the lungs – is very much influenced by your smoking or vaping history and it can be compromised from very early years if children are subjected to passive smoking by others," he explained.

"In addition to this, children look up to adults, especially parents, relatives or carers, and if they smoke, they run the risk of allowing their children to consider the habit as a ‘normal’ thing to pursue.

"This ‘normalisation’ has the potential to harm everyone but even more so for babies and children whose lungs haven’t finished growing, so passive smoking can cause a host of problems, including slowing lung growth and increasing their risk for developing asthma."

A recent survey by Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Scotland, found that four in five Scots want to see smoking banned outside schools.

"We already know also that tobacco smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, responsible for over two thirds of lung cancer deaths globally," added Mr Stewart.

"We know too that second-hand smoke exposure at home or in the work place also increases risk of lung cancer, so it comes as no surprise that recent polling by Asthma UK and the British Lung Foundation Scotland shows that 81.2 per cent of respondents favour a smoking ban at school gates and I am wholeheartedly behind this.

"Scotland has a smoke-free target of less than five per cent of adults smoking by 2034, and in order to start achieving this we need to stop the ‘normalising’ of smoking around children

"As Asthma UK & British Lung Foundation’s Smoking Cessation Champion, I will do all I can to get the message across that we must stop this ‘normalisation’ of smoking and to join our collective push for a complete ban of smoking at school gates and children’s play areas.”