The battle of Scotland Vs Disposable Vapes is kicking off.
Sadly it is starting to look like a Disposable Vape ban could be on the cards for the Scots.
Disposable vapes are causing a massive Poo storm in Scotland right now – with everything from the environmental impact to youth harm being cited as reasons for a ban.
In January 2023 the Scottish Government announced a review they had commissioned into Single Use (disposable vapes) and suggestions on how to tackle the issue.
The aim of the review was to research the negative consequences of disposables and it even mentioned a possible ban.
Scottish Government Review – Single Use Vapes
Today Zero Waste Scotland delivered the results of their Government Commissioned review on Single Use vapes and possible policy options.
You can view the full report on the Zero Waste Scotland website.
The review states the following…
- “Up to 26 million disposable vapes were consumed and thrown away in Scotland in the last year, of which an estimated 10 per cent were littered and more than half were incorrectly disposed of”
- “The review estimates that in the year ending January 2023, there were 543,000 vapers in Scotland – of which 51,000 (9%) were under 16 and 78,000 (14%) were under 18. Most under 18 e-cigarette users prefer single use vapes.”
- “Total emissions associated with disposable vapes in 2022 are estimated to have been up to 4,292 tonnes CO2e – the equivalent of around 2,100 cars on Scotland’s roads. The lithium batteries used in the most popular disposable vapes could be recharged up to 500 times if the product design allowed.”
The review suggested 9 high level potential policy options which are to be considered further by ministers, which the Scottish Government may include in future policies.
Zero Waste Scotland Recommendations
The policy options document is a separate download – you can obtain the PDF format document here.
As this is a 28 page document I will just try and summarise the main recommendations.
- Setting design criteria for e-cigarettes
- Requiring that batteries can be removed and replaced (potentially to all WEEE items)
- A ban on the sale of SU (Single Use) e-cigs
- Charging a deposit for SE e-cigs to be refunded on return for recycling
- A tax linked to recycling performance
- Changes in the WEEE regulations, a separate category for e-cigarettes
- A levy or charge on sales payable by the consumer
- A ban on flavoured e-cigarettes
- Tightening of enforcement of existing law in relation to underage sales.
Below is a table with more detail about each potential policy option.
The document then discusses the trends in SU vapes and environmental concerns, plus going into detail about the 9 policy options.
Background To Current Hostility
The Scottish campaigner Laura Young – Also known as “Less Waste Laura” – has gained a following due to her sharing the amount of scrapped single use disposables she finds on her travels.
I agree with her stance on the waste from Single use vapes – as I also see them lying around when I am out and about. But I feel a better recycling system is needed – not a ban!
— Laura Young (@LessWasteLaura) June 6, 2023
She has appeared in the Media a lot – here is an article about her efforts on the BBC News website.
The same walk today (10 minute loop) once at 9am and again at 4pm. Disposable vapes found each time. #BanDisposableVapes ❌💨 Added to my weeks collection which has signs of life as many still smoke and flash. pic.twitter.com/i0A0gL7PO1
— Laura Young (@LessWasteLaura) January 24, 2023
Many Scottish councils are backing the ban on disposable vapes too.
As we wait for the Scottish Government report on the impact of disposable vapes this week, we now have 27/32 (84%) of Scottish Councils backing the ban! Still to decide; Orkney, Midlothian, Clackmannanshire. Voted against; East Renfrewshire + Inverclyde #BanDisposableVapes ❌… pic.twitter.com/VaZF2GQnK5
— Laura Young (@LessWasteLaura) June 29, 2023
Plus there have been multiple anti-disposable stories in the Scottish press.
The Scottish Government is reportedly days away from announcing its decision on a ban.https://t.co/jhb0pVghQv
— Evening Telegraph (@Evening_Tele) June 29, 2023
“The mind boggles at the scale of disposable vapes pollution in Scotland just now. As we report today, on just one beach in one town – Irvine, in Ayrshire – vape pens were picked up in their hundreds by volunteer litter-pickers last week.”https://t.co/FOB0lnMNYq
— LoveCleanStreets (@CleanStreetsApp) June 6, 2023
The Daily Record boasts about the fact they have led calls for a ban on disposable vapes…
One news website – The National Scotland – published an article about a possible ban and included a poll – this was on June 30th 2023. Here are the results…
So you can kind of see why Scotland has a big issue with disposables.
It is so strange the total “Anti” disposable vape stance from ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) Scotland. Even suggesting that Scotland should consider the disastrous Australian approach to vaping.
ASH Scotland calls for the Scottish Government to consider adopting Australia's e-cigarette by prescription approach to tackle the adolescent vaping epidemic.
— ASH Scotland (@ASHScotland) June 29, 2023
Especially when you consider their UK counterpart believes disposable vapes have a place in the market and should not be banned?
Today ASH Scotland published the following Press Release – I quote…
“ASH Scotland urges outright ban of disposable e-cigarettes, following publication of Zero Waste Scotland’s review of the environmental and health-harming products
30th June 2023
Health charity ASH Scotland is amplifying its calls for an outright ban on disposable e-cigarettes following the publication of Zero Waste Scotland’s ‘Scoping policy options for Scotland focusing on understanding and managing the environmental impact of single use e-cigarettes’ review for the Scottish Government, published today (Friday 30 June 2023).
The review highlights that both the environmental impacts and health issues associated with the use of disposable e-cigarettes by young people are of concern worldwide; with several countries having already introduced, or considering introducing, bans on sales of the health-harming products, and some countries have restricted flavours. In the EU, clauses in its proposed Batteries Regulation, soon to be agreed, could lead to disposable e-cigarettes being prevented from being sold in current forms in its market from the end of 2026.
Sheila Duffy, Chief Executive of ASH Scotland, said: “Now that Zero Waste Scotland’s report has been published and a ban on disposable e-cigarettes is, in our view, the clearest most workable option to tackle both the environmental impacts as well as the health concerns about children vaping, we strongly urge First Minister, Humza Yousaf, and his government to take immediate and decisive action to implement an outright ban of these products to protect the long-term health of young people in Scotland.
“Disposable vapes, which are often displayed alongside sweets in shops, come in colourful designs and sweet flavours which entice children to use the health harming products. Nicotine, which is included in many of these recreational disposable e-cigarettes, is highly addictive and the products also contain toxic chemicals that have not been safety tested for inhalation and could seriously damage lung health over time.
“The Scottish Government has missed opportunities to introduce stringent restrictions on the advertising and promotion of recreational e-cigarettes since legislation to enable such measures was passed seven years ago, and we cannot afford to sacrifice the lung health of the next generation by taking only half-measures to reduce child vaping.
“The issue of disposable e-cigarettes and their calamitous impacts on children’s and youth addiction is prominent internationally with both France and Ireland consulting on bans. Humza Yousaf and the Scottish Government should take this opportunity to reclaim Scotland’s position as a leading public health nation by prohibiting the sale or use of these products as early as 2024.
“By implementing a ban on disposable e-cigarettes, Scotland can start to address the alarming rise in young people vaping which is driven by these products, safeguard public health and mitigate the environmental impacts.”
End of Press Release
Conflicting Views With ASH UK
ASH UK published a press release 6th June 2023 on their response to the UK Government consultation on Youth Vaping – I covered it in my article here – “ASH Recommendations on UK Youth Vaping.”
In the ASH UK release it included a quote from Dr Ruth Sharrock, Clinical Lead for Tobacco Dependency, North East and North Cumbria NHS Integrated Care Board, who said…
“Removing disposable vapes from our toolkit would make it harder to support our most vulnerable smokers. Older smokers, people with learning disabilities and others can find it hard to use refillable products straight away. The immediacy of a disposable vape makes such a difference. It is as if we are taking a cigarette out of their hand and replacing it with a vastly safer product.”
The Chief Executive of ASH UK – Deborah Arnott said…
“ASH called for tougher regulations after our survey last year showed disposables had become the vape of choice for children and underage vaping was on the up, but we were ignored. Now that the Prime Minister is convinced, perhaps action will finally be taken. Children are highly price sensitive so top of our list is to make disposable vapes less affordable by adding a £5 excise tax, which could be achieved immediately with a Finance Bill. This would not only increase the price but also make their distribution subject to much more stringent controls, making it easier to prevent illicit and underage sales.”
How To Fight Back
If you would like to get involved in the fight against these bans take a look at the website “Scot Vapes” to join the campaign.
Let me know your thoughts on the Scotland Vs Disposable Vapes battle in the comments below!