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ASH Scotland Wants Ecig Clampdown

ASH Scotland is ignoring independent science from the UK and using a poor World Health Organization report to back its call for tighter Scottish vaping regulations

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According to British Heart Foundation Scotland, non-communicable diseases take the lives of 40,000 Scots each year. Consequently, it and a number of other charities are calling on the Scottish Government to take stronger action on a number of fronts. ASH Scotland is one of those charities and is demanding stricter vaping legislation.

ASH Scotland recently published a report on non-communicable disease prevention (diseases that can’t be caught from another person).

On vaping, it says: “Declining cigarette sales have seen the arrival of products like e-cigarettes, which could keep people addicted to nicotine and attract new, potentially young, users. E-cigarette marketing is not yet subject to the same robust regulation as tobacco and could become a route into smoking for children and young people. Scotland should get ahead of the tobacco industry and protect younger generations through product regulation.

“We call on the Scottish Government, in 2021/22, to: Introduce regulations to Parliament on the domestic advertising of e-cigarettes following a public consultation on the measures.”

ASH Scotland told The Press and Journal that “a public consultation and possible regulations on e-cigarette advertising must also be considered”.

While cigarette sales have been declining, it says the rise of vaping is ‘keeping people addicted’ to nicotine and potentially attracting new, younger customers.”

The charity’s chief executive, Sheila Duffy said “E-cigarette marketing is not yet subject to the same robust regulation as tobacco and could become a route into smoking for children and young people.

“Scotland should get ahead of the tobacco industry and protect younger generations through product regulation. In 2016 the Scottish Parliament passed legislation to restrict e-cigarette advertising. Five years on, that legislation has still not been put into practice.

“Most e-cigarette brands are now owned by tobacco companies and limiting the promotion of e-cigarettes is an important step in reducing the uptake of recreational nicotine products, with young people especially at risk.”

Planet of the Vapes has approached ASH Scotland to ask for its evidence (other than that provided by the World Health Organization) (2) that vaping can lead to Scottish teens taking up smoking. We also asked for its market data evidence corroborating that the tobacco industry controls all sectors of the e-cig markets.

We pointed out that the electronic cigarette market has been operating for over a decade and ASH UK/Cancer Research UK's annual survey data demonstrates:

  • No uptake in never smokers
  • Decreasing number of teens who smoke
  • Decreasing number of teens who vape

Lion Shahab, University College London, recently spoke to Scotland’s position on vaping in Holyrood magazine: “My belief is, if you look at the impact e-cigarettes have on smoking cessation rates at population level, taken together with relatively reduced risk of harm associated with e-cigarette use, as well as the lack of evidence that e-cigarettes – either in the US or the UK – are a gateway to smoking for adolescents, that they are likely to be a public health good.”

British Heart Foundation Scotland’s David McColgan told The Press and Journal: “We must do more to help people across Scotland live longer, healthier lives. We need to empower people by making the healthy choice, the easier choice.”

This is true, and the evidence says that this means promoting vaping to current Scottish smokers – not demonising it, making false claims about a gateway into smoking, focussing on adults, and not ignoring the evidence produced by ASHUK and Cancer Research UK in England.


  1. ASH Scotland Non-communicable Disease Prevention report -
  2. The global tobacco epidemic 2021: addressing new and emerging products -
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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