Scotland is to join England and Wales in banning single-use vapes, the Government has announced.
Recommendations made following a UK-wide consultation have been accepted by the Scottish Government, with minister Lorna Slater saying there was a “clear majority” for an outright ban.
In a bid to stem smoking, it will also become illegal for anyone born after January 1 2009 to buy tobacco in Scotland, under the new rules.
Ms Slater said: “From litter on our streets, to the risk of fires in waste facilities, single-use vapes are an increasing issue – for our environment, local communities and young people.
“We were the first Government to commit to taking action on single-use vapes and, having now fulfilled our 2023 Programme for Government commitment to consult on measures to tackle the environmental impact of single-use vapes, I welcome the findings from this UK-wide consultation.
“It shows a clear majority preference for a ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland.
“I will now work to introduce legislation to ban them, working alongside public health minister Jenni Minto, to carefully consider any potential public health impacts. Ms Minto will also be working on a separate package of measures to create a tobacco-free Scotland by 2034 and tackle youth vaping.”
In a rare point of consensus, the rules will mirror those in England and Wales.
Announcing the move ahead of a visit to a school on Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “As any parent or teacher knows, one of the most worrying trends at the moment is the rise in vaping among children, and so we must act before it becomes endemic.
“The long-term impacts of vaping are unknown and the nicotine within them can be highly addictive, so while vaping can be a useful tool to help smokers quit, marketing vapes to children is not acceptable.
“As Prime Minister I have an obligation to do what I think is the right thing for our country in the long term.
“That is why I am taking bold action to ban disposable vapes – which have driven the rise in youth vaping – and bring forward new powers to restrict vape flavours, introduce plain packaging and change how vapes are displayed in shops.
“Alongside our commitment to stop children who turn 15 this year or younger from ever legally being sold cigarettes, these changes will leave a lasting legacy by protecting our children’s health for the long term”.