First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has jumped onto the ‘vape death’ hype train and shouted out of the window that Scotland will now look at the evidence supporting a ban on advertising for electronic cigarettes and vape products.
She announced that a consultation process would begin over the coming months and, if the evidence was there, she would support a ban because she will “not hesitate” to act.
The subject arose during First Minister’s Questions, where she said: “The approach we have taken has been very cautious. That is perhaps one reason why e-cigarette use remains relatively low in Scotland” – as if that is something to be proud of?
“Our approach has been a precautionary one, which is why in Scotland we have already taken the strictest regulatory approach in Europe to vaping products. The European Tobacco Products Directive restricts the advertising of e-cigarettes and ensures e-liquids can’t contain ingredients which are known to be harmful. The directive also limits the concentration of nicotine in e-liquids.”
“We’ve also introduced a retail register, a mandatory age verification scheme and we have funded trading standards departments in all council areas to ensure that retailers comply with the regulations. And in the coming months, we will consult on introducing a complete ban on the advertising and promotion of vapour products.”
“These are relatively new devices and therefore their impact continues to be studied. We don’t yet fully understand what that impact is.”
The ASA has expressed concern over the rising number of complaints about vape adverts. The advertising watchdog is launching an investigation into vape ads that could be seen as potentially attractive to children.
It named Juul, Blu and Vype as companies producing adverts that have been complained about because it was believed they either targeted under-18s or misinformed the public.
It says that a recent Juul advert depicting five ex-smokers was run in cinemas across the country. It raised 20 complaints.