Public Health Scotland (PHS) welcomes the latest steps to create a smokefree generation and tackle youth vaping.

All governments in the UK have agreed to bring forward a UK-wide Tobacco and Vapes Bill as part of their response to the 4 Nations Creating a smokefree generation and tackling youth vaping consultation, which ran across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland last year.

A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland is due to come into effect on 1 April 2025. This involves implementing the recommendation to ban single use vapes which was in the  consultation

In Scotland, the draft legislation, which is open for consultation until 8 March, is being taken forward using powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. While separate legislation on banning the sale and supply of single use vapes will need to be introduced by each of the UK’s four nations, the governments have worked together to agree on a date for when the ban will come into force.

The Bill introduced by the UK Government sets out plans to incrementally raise the legal age for buying cigarettes in England. This will mean that anyone resident in England, born after 1st January 2009 will not be able to buy tobacco legally. Regulatory powers relating to vapes, including restrictions on flavours and advertising will also be introduced. Herbal cigarettes will become subject to same restrictions as tobacco. New regulations in Scotland will be introduced following the passing of the Act at the end of this year.

Dr Garth Reid, Consultant in Public Health at PHS said:

"We know that smoking results in over 8,000 deaths in Scotland every year. Children born in our most deprived areas are more likely to grow up around smokers and are more likely to start smoking themselves, which creates health inequalities. Once people start smoking, they become addicted and find it hard to stop.

"In Scotland, the Scottish Government will use its existing environmental legislation to implement measures to prevent and reduce harm from tobacco. This includes plans to tackle youth vaping and for providing smoking cessation support for adults. PHS is working with both the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament to plan these measures.

"The UK Government’s Bill will mean that a 14-year-old today will never legally be able to buy a cigarette. This could substantially reduce smoking prevalence in the next generation, helping to reduce inequalities in smoking, prevent disease and improve population health.

"Restricting the sale of tobacco moves us closer to preventing people from becoming smokers and protects children and young people from smoking harms.”

Read more on the Scottish Government’s draft regulations on single-use vapes 

Read the Scottish Government’s tobacco and vaping framework: Roadmap to 2034

Read the UK Government’s policy paper 'Stopping the Start: our new plan to create a smokefree generation' 

Last updated: 20 March 2024