Vaping is on the rise
ASH Scotland is welcoming a tightening of rules advertising and promoting vaping products as a step towards protecting the health of children, young people and non-smoking adults in Scotland.
A Scottish Government consultation carried out earlier this year sought views on proposed regulations which aim to strike a balance between protecting non-smokers and making information available to smokers.
Sheila Duffy, chief executive of ASH Scotland said: “We welcome the publication of this report, and we want to see action to enact the advertising and promotion restrictions which were already passed by the Scottish Parliament and became law in 2016. At a time when we hear reports of a significant rise in children and young people using disposable vapes, these measures are urgently needed.
“Promoting novel products is one clear way in which the tobacco industry is reaching out to future generations of potential consumers. Measures like those consulted on to curb the advertising and promotion of recreational novel products is vital to protect youngsters from being enticed into experimenting.”
Young people who try e-cigarettes are at much higher risk of both nicotine addiction and of later using tobacco, which is a prospect we should all want our children to avoid as smoking is the direct cause of 16% of all deaths in Scotland.
Duffy added: “The World Health Organisation has expressed concerns that children who use these products are up to three times more likely to use tobacco products in the future, a concern is also backed by a global systematic evidence review published earlier this year by the Australian National University.
“The longer term health harms from vapes is still largely unknown. We do know, however, that most vapes contain nicotine, which can be highly addictive and that there are other toxic elements in e-liquids. Less harmful is not harmless.
“Most adults have heard of vaping products and can buy and use them if they choose to, but these are not licensed stop-smoking products, they are first and foremost commercial recreational products with many features – colours, flavours and price – that appeal mainly to children and young people. E-cigarettes are not available on NHS prescription on the NHS. We would encourage everyone aiming to quit smoking to go to local pharmacies or stop smoking services, which have a person-centred ‘Quit Your Way’ approach.”