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Scotland Announces Single-Use Vape Action

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today

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A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025, under proposed legislation published today. The SNP says that the move takes forward the recommendation to ban single use vapes from a consultation on ‘Creating a Smokefree Generation and Tackling Youth Vaping’, which ran across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year.

The Scottish government says that the draft legislation, which is open for consultation until 8 March, is being taken forward in Scotland using powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. And, while separate legislation on banning the sale and supply of single use vapes will need to be introduced by each nation, the governments have worked together to agree on a date for when the ban will come into force, to provide certainty for businesses and consumers.

Circular Economy Minister, Lorna Slater said: “Legislating to ban the sale and supply of single-use vapes fulfils a Programme for Government commitment to reduce vaping among non-smokers and young people and take action to tackle their environmental impact.

“The public consultation demonstrated that there is strong support for tougher action on vaping. From causing fires in waste facilities to more than 26 million disposable vapes being consumed and thrown away in Scotland in the past year, single-use vapes are a threat to our environment as well as to our public health.

“These proposed changes to the law demonstrate our absolute commitment to further improve the wellbeing of communities and protecting our beautiful natural environment.”

The administration justifies the approach because it is similar to bans they adopted for microbeads, cotton buds and single use plastics – except adults didn’t go into stores asking for half a pound of microbeads or a pack of 20 single use plastics.

Regulations will be introduced to the Scottish Parliament before the summer.

The Scottish Government says that it will “continue to work with the UK Government and other nations in relation to the ban on disposable vapes, including addressing the need for any exclusion from the UK Internal Market Act through the Resources and Waste Common Framework.”

It continues: “Zero Waste Scotland estimates that up to 26 million disposable vapes were consumed and thrown away in Scotland in the last year, with 10 per cent being littered and more than half disposed of incorrectly. With millions of vapes littered every year, there is a significant and increasing cost to local authorities through litter clear up and waste management. Where vapes are incorrectly disposed of, the batteries increase risk of fires at waste centres and on collection vehicles that can damage equipment paid for by the taxpayer or even be a risk to personal safety.”

ASH Scotland welcomed the announcement.

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “Disposable recreational e-cigarettes are the product of choice for the majority of youngsters who vape so the Scottish Government’s announcement today giving details of its ban is a major step forward towards halting the alarming huge upsurge of children and young people vaping.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called on governments to take urgent regulatory actions to protect children from harms caused by vaping, following mounting evidence of adverse health impacts, and studies consistently showing that young people who use e-cigarettes are up to three times at greater risk of starting to smoke tobacco.

“With most disposable vaping products containing high levels of nicotine, which is extremely addictive, as well as toxic chemicals that have not been safety tested for inhalation and can damage lung health, the ban is both urgent and necessary to protect the health of children now and future generations.

“We thank the Scottish Government for taking this vital regulatory action after listening to young people, parents, teachers and other Ban Disposable Vape campaigners who are expressing deep concerns about the impacts these health and environmental harming products are having on society.”

The Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) is less enthusiastic.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The Scottish Government should not rush to implement the disposable vapes ban without proper consultation with industry and a clear understanding of the impact the illicit vaping market that already accounts for one third of the overall UK vaping market. The lack of a published impact assessment reveals the scant consideration of how vapers will respond to this change in the law, and how it will swell the already huge market in illicit vapes.

“We need a clear plan in place for communicating this policy change to consumers without undermining smoke free targets, as our research also suggests that 8% of disposable vape users will return to tobacco products when the ban is introduced.”

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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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