Singe-use vapes are set to be banned in Scotland, mirroring rules also being introduced in England and Wales.
The Scottish Government has backed recommendations of a UK-wide consultation on the issue, resulting in a “clear majority” for an outright ban.
Measures will include restrictions on vape flavours and promotions, as well as changing the legal age for the purchase of tobacco products.
What are the new rules?
The legislation will ban the sale of single-use vapes and make it illegal to sell tobacco to anyone born on or after January 1, 2009.
There will be restrictions on vape flavours, the way they are displayed in store and how they are packaged.
The laws will give new powers to local authorities allowing them to issue fixed penalty notices to people breaching the age of sale legislation for both tobacco products and vapes.
Refillable, reusable vapes will remain available alongside other tools for smoking cessation, including nicotine patches and medication.
When will it come into force?
Public health minister Jenni Minto has previously suggested the ban on disposable vapes could be enforced by 2025.
Why is the ban necessary?
The UK Government has said that single-use vapes have “exasperated” a rise in youths vaping.
Minto added: “Smoking damages lives and kills more than 8,000 people a year in Scotland and is burden on our NHS and social care services. Research also suggests that almost one in five adolescents have tried vapes.
“We want to do more to achieve our goal of being tobacco-free in Scotland by 2034 and after collaborating on the UK-wide consultation, we have worked closely across the four UK nations on next steps and now intend to act on taking forward its recommendations, either on a UK-wide basis or through legislation in the Scottish Parliament.
“I have worked closely with circular economy minister Lorna Slater on disposable vapes. These are a threat to both public health and the environment – from litter on our streets, to the risk of fires in waste facilities – that’s why we will act on our Programme for Government commitment and move to ban them.”
Lorna Slater, minister for green skills, circular economy and biodiversity, said: “From litter on our streets, to the risk of fires in waste facilities, single-use vapes are an increasing issue – for our environment, local communities and young people.
“We were the first Government to commit to taking action on single-use vapes and having now fulfilled our 2023 Programme for Government commitment to consult on measures to tackle the environmental impact of single-use vapes, I welcome the findings from this UK-wide consultation.
“It shows a clear majority preference for a ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland.
“I will now work to introduce legislation to ban them, working alongside public health minister Jenni Minto, to carefully consider any potential public health impacts. Ms Minto will also be working on a separate package of measures to create a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034 and tackle youth vaping.”
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