Scotland Announces Plan To Ban Single-Use Vapes

Scotland Announces Big Plan to Ban Single-Use Vapes in 2025

The ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on April 1st 2025 under proposed government legislation, following recommendation from the UK-wide consultation in 2023 on ‘Creating a Smokefree Generation and Tackling Youth Vaping’. Elfbar and other vape brands have already begun planning for the ban on disposables.

The draft legislation is being taken forward in Scotland using the powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and is open for consultation until March 8th. To provide confidence and trust for businesses and customers, the governments within the UK have cooperated to agree on a date for when the ban comes into force.

Lorna Slater, Circular Economy Minister has provided reasoning for the draft legislation: “Legislating to ban the sale and supply of single-use vapes fulfils a Programme for Government commitment to reduce vaping among non-smokers and young people and take action to tackle their environmental impact.

“The public consultation demonstrated that there is strong support for tougher action on vaping. From causing fires in waste facilities to more than 26 million disposable vapes being consumed and thrown away in Scotland in the past year, single-use vapes are a threat to our environment as well as to our public health.

“These proposed changes to the law demonstrate our absolute commitment to further improve the well-being of communities and protecting our beautiful natural environment.”

In the past, the Environmental Protection Act 1990, has been used to ban other items such as microbeads, cotton buds and single-use plastic. Regulations will be introduced to the Scottish Parliament before the summer.

The Scottish Government will “continue to work with the UK Government and other nations in relation to the ban on disposable vapes, including addressing the need for any exclusion from the UK Internal Market Act through the Resources and Waste Common Framework.”

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Sheila Duffy,
Chief Executive of ASH Scotland
supports the announcement

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) accepted the announcement. Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, Sheila Duffy, said: “Disposable recreational e-cigarettes are the product of choice for the majority of youngsters who vape so the Scottish Government’s announcement today giving details of its ban is a major step forward towards halting the alarming huge upsurge of children and young people vaping.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on governments to take urgent regulatory actions to protect children from harms caused by vaping, following mounting evidence of adverse health impacts, and studies consistently showing that young people who use e-cigarettes are up to three times greater risk of starting to smoke tobacco.

“With most disposable vaping products containing high levels of nicotine, which is extremely addictive, as well as toxic chemicals that have not been safety tested for inhalation and can damage lung health, the ban is both urgent and necessary to protect the health of children now and future generations.

“We thank the Scottish Government for taking this vital regulatory action after listening to young people, parents, teachers and other Ban Disposable Vape campaigners who are expressing deep concerns about the impacts these health and environmental harming products are having on society.”

However, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) aren’t as keen on the announcement. Executive Chief, James Lowman said, “The Scottish Government should not rush to implement the disposable vapes ban without proper consultation with industry and a clear understanding of the impact the illicit vaping market that already accounts for one third of the overall UK vaping market. The lack of a published impact assessment reveals the scant consideration of how vapers will respond to this change in the law, and how it will swell the already huge market in illicit vapes.

“We need a clear plan in place for communicating this policy change to consumers without undermining smoke free targets, as our reach also suggests that 8% of disposable vapes users will return to tobacco products when the ban is introduced.”

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“Mounting concern about the rapid rise of vaping among children.”

In addition, the Scottish Government will also bring forward UK-wide plans to increase the age for purchasing tobacco, making it illegal for anyone born after January 1st 2009 to buy the product. Smoking is responsible for more than 8,000 deaths a year in Scotland, and vapes are seen by many health professionals as a useful tool for helping adults quit. But there has been mounting concern about the rapid rise of vaping among children, many of whom might never consider smoking.

Refillable, reusable vapes will remain available alongside other tools for smoking cessation, including nicotine patches and medication.

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