The Scottish government has on Tuesday announced plans to consult on a proposal to ban the sale of single use vapes and other appropriate measures as part of its commitments in the Programme for Government.
The measure is aimed at reducing vaping among non-smokers and young people and tackling the environmental impact of single use vapes.
The Scottish government has earlier this year commissioned Zero Waste Scotland to carry out a review of the environmental impact of single use vapes and the potential policy options of the report included a ban on sales.
In addition, action to help ensure that children, young people and non-smokers do not use these devices will also be set out in this year’s refreshed Tobacco Action Plan, which will set out the country’s road map to the 2034 smokefree target.
“Disposable vapes are a threat to both public health and the environment,” first minister Humza Yousaf said, after publishing his first Programme for Government.
“We know that the bright colours and sweet flavours catch the eye of children and young people in particular. The World Health Organisation has said there is evidence to suggest that young people who have never smoked but use e-cigarettes, double their chance of starting to smoke tobacco cigarettes in later life.
“On the environment, the evidence is undeniable – from litter on our streets, to the risk of fires in waste facilities, there are issues which demand action.”
Yousaf said his government will be working ‘constructively’ with retailers and other stakeholders to come up with solutions.
“While we will be asking for views on a ban, we are also keen to explore other interventions that could have a more immediate impact,” he added.
Following a request of Scottish ministers, the circular economy minister and public health minister will meet with counterparts in the UK government, Welsh government and Northern Ireland executive to discuss the findings of recent research and potential policy responses.
“Of course, this is not just an issue for Scotland – these problems are being experienced all over the UK and we will soon be holding discussions on potential solutions,” Yousaf said.
The consultation on the proposed ban will be held in the next year and the refreshed Tobacco Action Plan will be published in the autumn.
On Sunday, French prime minister Elisabeth Borne has revealed that the country is planning to ban disposable vapes.