Scottish Government will consent to UK-wide vaping curbs

Public health minister Jenni Minto confirmed the move on Tuesday.

Scottish Government will consent to UK-wide vaping curbs AleksandrYu via Getty Images

The Scottish Government will consent to UK-wide legislation aimed at curbing vaping, a minister has confirmed.

Public health minister Jenni Minto said the Government will shortly bring forward a legislative consent memorandum, which allows Westminster to pass laws in what are usually devolved areas.

The UK-wide legislation will mean youngsters born on or after January 1, 2009, will never legally be able to buy cigarettes.

It also includes new powers to regulate the display, contents, flavours and packaging of vapes and nicotine products.

The Scottish Government also intends to ban the sale of single-use vapes from April 1, 2025.

It comes as a high school in Edinburgh has become one of the first in the country to install vape detectors in an effort to crack down on toilet smoking.

The investment comes after concerns over the effects of teen vaping on education and health were raised at a parents’ forum last October, with plans agreed between the NHS and schools to step-up work to spread awareness of the risks.

Updating MSPs on Tuesday, Minto said smoking rates are at an all-time low but there has recently been a “notable increase” in young people using vapes.

She said: “As the Bill makes provisions which will be within the competence of this Scottish Parliament, we will shortly be bringing forward a legislative consent memorandum for consideration by this Parliament.”

There is “overwhelming support” for the ban on single-use vapes, she said, with a further consultation taking place in April.

The minister said there would be a wider package of measures to reduce vaping and hit the 2034 target for a tobacco-free Scotland.

Minto told MSPs: “These measures are central to our framework and represent an opportunity to make a significant generational impact on the future health of Scotland.”

The latest Public Health Scotland survey of health behaviour in school-aged children – covering 2022 – reported that there had been a 25% increase in 15-year-olds using e-cigarettes – up from 7% in 2018.

According to new research, vaping causes similar changes to a person’s DNA as smokers who develop cancer.

An analysis of cheek cell samples taken from vape users, when compared with those from cigarette smokers, revealed both groups shared similar changes to the DNA of cells in their mouth.

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