The First Minister of Scotland, Humza Yousaf, pledged to reduce vaping among non-smokers and youth and address the environmental impact of disposable vapes.
The proposals include consulting on banning their sale and other appropriate measures. Research shows that nearly 20% of teenagers have experimented with vaping.
Zero Waste Scotland estimated that in the last year, up to 26 million disposable vapes were consumed and improperly disposed of in Scotland, with 10% being littered.
The Scottish Ministers have requested a meeting with counterparts in the UK Government, Welsh Government and Northern Ireland Executive to discuss the recent research findings and potential policy responses. Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater and Public Health Minister Jenni Minto will attend the meeting.
The Scottish Government will also take action to prevent the use of these devices by children, young people and non-smokers. This will be outlined in their tobacco action plan, providing a roadmap to 2034.
Mr Yousaf (pictured) said: “Disposable vapes are a threat to both public health and the environment. We know that the bright colours and sweet flavours catch the eye of children and young people in particular.
“The World Health Organisation has said there is evidence to suggest that young people who have never smoked but use e-cigarettes double their chance of starting to smoke tobacco cigarettes in later life.
“Last year we consulted on restrictions on the advertising and promoting vaping products.
“Any action we seek to take will build on the regulations already in place to restrict the marketing, promotion and sale of vaping products to under 18s, and the findings will be used to inform the refreshed tobacco action plan.”
The First Minister added: “On the environment, the evidence is undeniable – from litter on our streets to the risk of fires in waste facilities, there are issues which demand action.
“We will work constructively with retailers and other stakeholders to develop solutions. While we will ask for views on a ban, we are also keen to explore other interventions that could have a more immediate impact.
“Of course, this is not just an issue for Scotland – these problems are being experienced all over the UK, and we will soon discuss potential solutions.”
The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has expressed its support for the UK Government’s pledge to consider a ban on disposable single-use vapes.
Additionally, WRAP applauds the EU for proposing a Europe-wide ban on disposable vapes starting from 2026. The organisation also commends France for introducing a country-wide ban by the end of this year. Furthermore, WRAP welcomes the forthcoming Scottish consultation on the issue.