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More Scottish Ban Demands

The NHS Highland director of public health and policy and Argyll & Bute council are the latest to demand the Scottish government bans all disposable vapes

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The NHS Highland director of public health and policy and Argyll & Bute council are the latest to demand the Scottish government bans all disposable vapes. Selectively picking a single statistic from the recent ASH report – then changing it to a fictional one – is all that was needed to convince all the council members to give their universal support for the ultimatum.

NHS Scotland Director Dr Tim Allison presented an annual report to the councillors, in which he spoke about the risky nature of vaping and the environmental damage it causes.

He is reported as saying: “I think it is a very risky path to go down, certainly an unwelcome path, potentially exposing young people and children to addiction to nicotine. We should support efforts to stop vaping by young children.”

Councillor Ross Moreland claimed that a recent report from Action on Smoking and Health shows teen vaping has “doubled” in the last year. In fact, the figure is that it rose from 4.1% to 7.0%.

Councillor Moreland blames this on “cheap, available disposable vapes,” adding, “Very few things are more important than the health of our young people. Vaping and the possible long-term side effects of vaping, could cause both immediate and long-term health problems.”

What Dr Allison and Councillor Moreland have overlooked is who is vaping. The ASH report is quite clear that of those current vapers, almost all of them are current smokers or used to smoke.

Use among 11-17 year olds who have never smoked remains low and largely experimental, while 7.5% of never smokers have tried an e-cigarette in 2022 only 1.7% report at least monthly use,” Action on Smoking and Health states.

The report detailed how only those who are also smokers ever spoke about being addicted to vaping – comments that weren’t reported by the handful of teens who never smoked.

Action on Smoking and Health has not called for a ban on disposables, suggesting teen vaping can be addressed by:

  • Taxing disposable vapes which are the cheapest and most popular vape for children.
  • Stricter regulation of advertising and promotion, particularly at point of sale in shops
  • Stricter regulation of packaging, labelling and product design features (e.g. prohibiting cartoon characters; product names associated with sweets; and design features such as “light up” vapes.

Experience has demonstrated that all bans ever achieve is to fuel a black-market growth in unregulated products. Scotland needs to think hard before making a mistake where it hands over control to criminals.

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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