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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Action on Tobacco and Vaping

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New measures to protect children and young people and reduce preventable deaths.

Public Health Minister Jenni Minto has welcomed the introduction of proposed legislation to ban the sale of tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 and allow tougher measures on vaping.

All governments in the UK agreed to bring forward a UK-wide Tobacco and Vapes Bill as part of their response to the 4 Nations Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping consultation.

The UK-wide legislation, introduced in Parliament will gradually increase the age of sale, making it an offence to sell tobacco products to anyone born on or after 1 January 2009.

This means that children born on or after this date – those turning 15 this year and younger – will never be able to buy cigarettes.

The Bill also includes new powers to regulate displays, contents, flavours and retail packaging of vapes and nicotine products, allowing restrictions to target flavours marketed at children and to move vapes out of sight of children and away from products like sweets.

It will also remove existing Scottish provisions which make it an offence for a person under 18 to purchase tobacco products.

The Scottish Government has already published proposals to ban the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland using existing environmental powers.

If agreed by the Scottish Parliament, this would come into effect on 1 April 2025.

Public Health Minister Jenni Minto said:

“Scotland has been a world-leader on a range of tobacco control measures, and while there has been a steady reduction in the proportion of people smoking we know it still damages lives and kills more than 8,000 people a year in Scotland.

“Smoking is a huge burden on our NHS and social care services and contributes significantly to health inequalities, which is why our goal is for a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034.

“Research suggests that almost one in five young people have tried vaping and we’re particularly concerned about how flavours are used as an enticement to children and young people.

“We will now consider how to use these powers, if passed by Westminster, with the consent of the Scottish Parliament, to benefit public health.

“We will continue our four-nations approach to avoid any unnecessary regulatory divergence and to offer more certainty and for business and consistency for consumers.

“Powers on vapes will be taken forward following further consultation and engagement.

“In addition, we were the first government to commit to taking action on single-use vapes and have now fulfilled our 2023 Programme for Government commitment to consult on measures to tackle the environmental impact of single-use vapes.”

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