Two out of three people in Scotland think the Scottish Government should be doing more to improve public health, according to a new poll.

A survey of 1000 Scots, commissioned by a coaltion of charities, also found there was broad support for curbs on the availability, price and promotion of unhealthy food, tobacco and alcohol.

Almost eight out of ten Scots (78%) were in favour of banning advertising of all tobacco and nicotine products while three quarters (81%) wanted to see the introduction of policies which ensure fruit and vegetables are cheaper to buy than unhealthy foods.

The Herald:

The findings have been released by nine health charities, including Alcohol Focus Scotland and British Heart Foundation Scotland, as part of their ongoing campaign for action to tackle non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

NCDs – which include heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic lung disease and diabetes - are responsible for more than 40,000 deaths each year in Scotland but the coalition suggests as many as 8,000 – or one in five – could be prevented through public health initiatives.

READ MORE: Tory policies blamed for 'terrifying' health outcomes for Scotland's poorest 

The poll of 1,000 adults in Scotland conducted by YouGov in March this year, also revealed two out of three (67%) were in favour of setting a minimum and maximum price for tobacco, while almost seven in ten (68%) supported health warning labels on alcohol products.

The UK government was heavily criticised after announcing the delay of a ban on multi-buy deals for junk food and pre-watershed TV advertising.

The Department of Health said the plans would be deferred for a year while officials assessed the impact on household finances as families struggle with the increasing cost of living.

It said curbs on junk food placement in stores would still go ahead in October.

But health campaigners accused the PM of "playing politics" with children's health.

READ MORE: 'Scotland will only solve health inequalities with more legislative powers'

David McColgan, Senior Policy and Public Affairs Manager, BHF Scotland, said: “For years, the Scottish Government has prided itself as being a world leader in public health, but the sad reality is we are being overtaken by other countries.

"Commitments to introduce new measures to improve public health have been repeatedly delayed and all the while the burden of disease is being felt by the most vulnerable in our communities."

"NCDs cause well over two thirds of all deaths in Scotland but we know thousands of these could be prevented.

"It is evident that the public believes the Scottish Government should be doing more and supports increased measures to tackle these issues.

"We have already waited too long and the Scottish Government must now sit up and listen and deliver a comprehensive public health bill urgently.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “Improving health and reducing health inequalities across Scotland is a clear priority for this Government.

“We have already introduced world-leading legislation on Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol, and we will introduce a Bill in this Parliament that includes powers to restrict promotions of foods high in fat, sugar or salt.

"We are also consulting on mandatory calorie labelling as part of a wider range of actions to support people to make healthier choices when eating out or ordering in.

“We are refreshing our Tobacco Action Plan and we are identifying the most impactful actions to reduce smoking prevalence to 5% or less by 2034 and to tackle health inequalities.”