Scotland wants to ban coating in April 2025

The government has announced its wish to ban disposable e-cigarettes of the coated type from April 2025. draft legislation was published by the government after Scotland joined England and Wales in banning the single-use devices. It follows recommendations from a UK-wide consultation on how to achieve a tobacco-free generation(1).

The draft legislation will be open for consultation until 8 March 2024 before being implemented in Scotland under powers under the Environment Protection Act 1990. Circular Economy Minister Lorna Slater said the three British nations had worked together to agree a date when the ban takes effect.

The powers under section 140 of the Act were transferred to the Scottish Ministers by section 53 of the Scotland Act 1998 and can no longer be exercised by UK Ministers in relation to Scotland. Scotland must therefore itself pass legislation to enact such a ban. This approach has been used in the past to ban other products such as microbeads, cotton swabs and single-use plastics.

Measures aimed at protecting youth and the environment

The adoption of the law banning single-use electronic devices responds to the government’s programmatic commitment to reduce vaping and take measures to address the environmental impact of single-use vapers. The measure is also part of the UK’s plan to achieve a tobacco and nicotine free generation in the coming years.

A June 2023 study in Scotland of the health behaviors of school-aged children found that 3% of Scottish 11-year-olds and 10% of 13-year-olds regularly use e-cigarettes. Consumption can be attributed mainly to disposable devices (2).

The Scottish Government will also outline plans for the whole of the UK to strengthen measures on vaping products by banning attractive flavors and raising the purchasing age of tobacco products, allowing the sale of illegal tobacco to anyone born after 1 January 2009.

In January 2023, a report commissioned by the Scottish Government from Zero Waste Scotland estimated that 26 million puffs had been used and thrown away in Scotland in the past year, with 10% being binned and more than half disposed of incorrectly. With millions of these fumes emitted each year, the costs of cleaning up and managing waste for local authorities are significant and growing. When these devices are disposed of incorrectly, the batteries increase the risk of fires in waste treatment centers and collection trucks, which can damage taxpayer-funded equipment or even pose a safety risk to people.

Environmental and public health stakeholders welcome this decision as they believe that the time is no longer for half measures and that the Scottish Government has already missed several opportunities to clamp down on this market(3). Several European countries including Belgium and France have recently joined the process of banning these products.

Keywords: Scotland, wrappers, disposable e-cigarettes, vaping, UK, tobacco-free generation, nicotine

©Tobacco Free Generation

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(1) A tobacco-free generation, UK unveils its plan to achieve a tobacco-free generation, published 1 February 2024, accessed 26 February 2024

(2) Tobacco Free Generation, Scotland questions nicotine withdrawal for under 12s, published 17 October 2023, consulted 26 February 2024

(3) ASH Scotland, ASH Scotland urges total ban on single-use e-cigarettes after publication of Zero Waste Scotland review of products damaging environment and healthpublished 30 June 2023, accessed 26 February 2024

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