A new marketing campaign informing parents, carers and school pupils of the dangers of vaping has been launched by the Scottish Government.
It comes as a new Tobacco and Vaping Framework is published, setting out actions which will be taken to create a tobacco-free generation by 2034.
The Framework for reaching the 2034 goal includes action to raise the age limit for sales of tobacco and plans to improve services to help people quit. In addition, the Scottish Government will continue to review what further action is needed to limit the appeal of vapes to children, young people and non-smokers during the first phase of the framework which will run until November 2025
The ‘Take Hold’ marketing campaign will increase awareness of the harms and risks of nicotine addiction associated with vaping, with schools across Scotland provided with digital guidance packs and resources for posters along with radio and outdoor advertising. Its key message is that vapes may quickly become harmfully addictive for children and young people, affecting their concentration, mental health and mood.
Public Health Minister Jenni Minto said:
“Smoking damages lives for people across Scotland, and is responsible for one in five deaths – more than 8,000 lives a year. It causes preventable ill health and loss of life of loved ones, is a significant burden on our NHS and social care services, and is the leading preventable cause of health inequalities and costs the economy millions each year in lost productivity.
“Although we have seen smoking rates decline, and Scotland has already introduced a range of world-leading tobacco control measures, we want to do more to help us achieve our goal of being tobacco-free by 2034. This framework will provide direction for a decade and allow us to be more responsive in dealing with a variety of nicotine and tobacco products.
“E-cigarettes are one of a range of tools for adult smokers to quit smoking, but should never be used by young people or adult non-smokers. We must take action to prevent young people using vapes and becoming addicted which will damage their health, and that’s why we’re launching a marketing campaign. It is much easier to never start than it is to give up.”
The Scottish Government will continue to work constructively with stakeholders and retailers and is still considering next steps on its consultation on tightening the advertising and promotion of vapes. Any measures taken forward will be in addition to those proposed under the UK-wide consultation on creating a smoke-free generation, which the Scottish Government is part of, and includes raising the age limit.
In addition, the UK-wide consultation contains proposals on the prohibition of disposable vape sales and other measures, which aligns with the Programme for Government commitment to tackle the environmental impact of single-use vapes.
The new action plan was developed through engagement with a working group of public health experts, including ASH Scotland, Public Health Scotland, Cessation coordinators, academics and The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland. Engagement also included views from the Poverty Alliance Scotland and from the 11th Citizen Panel for Health.
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