ASH Scotland welcomes Scottish and UK-wide ban on disposable e-cigarettes

28 January 2024

ASH Scotland today (Sunday 28 January) thanked the Scottish and UK Governments for announcing a ban on disposable e-cigarettes to halt what leading respiratory paediatricians in Scotland have described as ‘fast becoming a vaping epidemic in the adolescent population’.

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of health charity, ASH Scotland, said: “We warmly welcome the ban on disposable recreational e-cigarettes, which are the product of choice for the majority of youngsters who vape. This step is vital towards halting the alarming huge upsurge of children using these health and environmental harming products.

“We thank the UK and Scottish governments for listening to campaigners, parents, teachers and others who expressed deep concerns about the impacts these products are having on society. We are delighted with this result as ASH Scotland has been raising our concerns about disposable vapes along with others such as Marine Conservation Society since World No Tobacco Day in May 2022 when its theme focused on protecting the environment.

“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.“As children are attracted to the taste and smell of fruit and sweet flavoured e-cigarettes, as well as the colourful packaging, we also favour proposals to remove all flavours from vaping products and restrictions to standardised plain packaging.

“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 moving on to start smoking tobacco.”The health charity also welcomed plans to raise the age of sale of tobacco products but spotlighted an issue which will need to be resolved in Scotland to prevent young customers being criminalised.

Sheila Duffy added: “We also support legislation preventing anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 from being sold tobacco, which continues to be the biggest preventable killer of people in Scotland, causing more than 8,000 deaths each year.

“It is essential, however, that the law in Scotland is changed to ensure that no young customers are criminalised for purchasing this addictive, health harming substance.”