ASH Scotland thanks the vast majority of MPs who backed the Tobacco and Vapes Bill

16 April 2024

ASH Scotland is offering the health charity’s thanks to the 383 MPs who voted in favour of the UK Government’s Tobacco and Vapes Bill during its second reading in the House of Commons tonight (Tuesday 16 April 2024).

Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “We are pleased that an overwhelming majority of cross party MPs voted in favour of the Tobacco and Vapes Bill. Should the Bill succeed in progressing through Westminster, and subsequently obtain the legislative consent of the Scottish Parliament, the amended law to prevent anyone born on or after 1 January 2009 from being sold tobacco will deliver the welcome outcome of tobacco being progressively and incrementally cleared from retail space.

“Tobacco continues to be the biggest preventable killer of people in Scotland, causing more than 8,000 deaths each year, and we urge the UK and Scottish governments to use all available powers to eradicate the damage that profit-centred multi-national tobacco corporations are inflicting on people’s lives and enable Scotland to attain a tobacco-free generation by the target date of 2034.

“As youngsters are attracted to the taste and smell of fruit and sweet flavoured vaping products, as well as the devices’ colourful designs and packaging, we would welcome the opportunity for robust UK-wide measures, which can be enabled by the Bill passing, to be introduced to restrict e-cigarette flavours and packaging intentionally marketed at children.

“With the Scottish Government having consulted in 2022 on proposed regulations to tighten rules on the advertising and promotions of recreational vaping products enabled by existing Scottish legislation passed in 2016, however, ASH Scotland is also calling for those regulations to be introduced without further delay, to help restrict the exponential rise in vaping amongst children. With a General Election pending, waiting for similar potential measures to be passed at Westminster presents a severe risk of delays to vital regulations that our children’s health and wellbeing can ill afford.”

There were 383 votes in favour of the Bill, with 67 votes against.