Taking action on smoking and health
ASH Scotland is calling for the advertising and promotion of recreational vaping products to be restricted to counteract an upsurge in use by children and young people in Scotland, and protect the long-term health of future generations.
The call comes in the health charity’s response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on restricting the advertising of vaping products on spaces such as billboards and bus shelters, and limiting promotional or sponsorship activities and the distribution of free or cut-price samples. ASH Scotland is troubled by evidence suggesting e-cigarette use by young people increases the risk of using tobacco products in the future. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concerns that children who use these products are up to three times more likely to use tobacco products in the future, and those fears are supported in a global systematic evidence review published earlier this month by the Australian National University.
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “With alarming reports about children in Scotland as young as seven possessing vaping products, which often have flavours, colouring and packaging attractive to young people, we strongly support the important precautionary steps proposed by the Scottish Government to curb the promotion of recreational e-cigarettes to protect youngsters from being lured into experimenting.
“Long-term harms associated with using vapes are currently unknown. There are five very different kinds of e-cigarette devices and as many as 8,000 different liquid combinations, and we don’t know what’s in these new and fast-developing products. We do know, however, that most vapes contain nicotine, which can be highly addictive. Many include toxic chemicals that have not been safety tested and could damage people’s health over time – this is especially a concern for children and young people as their lungs are still growing.
“Most adults have heard of vaping products and will still have the choice to buy and use them. Although some individuals choose to use these devices as part of trying to quit smoking, not one single e-cigarette is available by prescription on the NHS. We encourage everyone aiming to give up to go to local pharmacies or stop smoking services, which have a person-centred ‘Quit Your Way’ approach, or visit www.quityourway.scot
“We owe it to forthcoming generations in Scotland to restrict the advertising and promotion of vaping products now to reduce the risk of youngsters gambling away their future health through using vaping products which we know are not harmless.”The Scottish Government’s consultation on restricting the advertising and promotion of vaping products closes today (Friday 29th April 2022).References:
Action on Smoking & Health (Scotland) (ASH Scotland) is a registered Scottish charity (SC 010412) and a company limited by guarantee(Scottish company no 141711). The registered office is 8 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2HB.
ASH Scotland acknowledges with thanks the support of the British Heart Foundation and the Scottish Government in developing our website.