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Trade bodies criticise Scotland’s plan to restrict vape ads

February 16, 2022

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Scottish ministers are consulting on proposals to restrict the promotion and advertising of vaping products. The trade bodies for convenience have raised concerns as this might hinder the effort to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034.

The ministers believe that although evidence suggests the devices are less harmful than smoking tobacco, they “cannot say with total certainty that they do not have any long-term harms to health”.

Dr John Lee, head of public affairs at the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, told The Times, “There is no evidence base within the document to justify any of the proposals.

“It makes no sense to us at all to potentially restrict the market and these products when they can be so useful in transitioning people from tobacco and helping Scotland meet that 2034 target of a tobacco-free generation.”

Doug Mutter, director at the UK Vaping Industry Association, a trade body representing the sector, said that controls on vaping adverts would be “catastrophic” and a “massive own goal for the NHS in Scotland”. However, Ash Scotland, welcomed the proposals stating it as “important precautionary steps” to protect the health of children, young people and adult non-smokers in Scotland.

Sheila Duffy, chief executive at Ash Scotland, said, “Curbing the advertising and promotion of recreational nicotine products is vital to protect youngsters from being encouraged to experiment and moving on to use tobacco.”

Maree Todd, the minister for public health, said, “Reducing exposure to the promotion of vape products is the best way to protect non-smokers, young people and children from experimenting with these products.”

Todd added that once the consultation has ended, responses will be analysed before any changes are made to current regulations.

E-cigarettes ads are already banned in newspapers and magazines, as well as on TV. The consultation suggests further restrictions on ads on billboards, bus stops and in-store promotional displays, bringing vaping products in line with cigarettes and other tobacco products.