Industry body reacts to proposed Scottish regulatory measures for e-cigarettes

By aligning rules on vaping with tobacco, Scotland’s proposals on tightening regulations on the advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes “conflate” vaping and combustible tobacco, the UKIVA has said.

The industry body added this will “create an entirely separate regulatory environment” in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK.

It explained the Scottish government has taken a “damaging and disproportionate approach” in proposed measures to restrict the advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes.

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The proposed measures include a ban on e-cigarette advertising on billboards, buses, leaflets and flyers, as well as in-store promotional displays, free distribution, brand-sharing and sponsorship agreements.

The UKVIA’s view is that while the Scottish government has accepted that vape products are a valuable tool to help smokers looking to quit, their approach “paradoxically conflates the relevant risk of e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco, detrimentally impacting the industry’s ability to communicate the range of products available to smokers looking to quit”.

The UKVIA director general John Dunne said: “In an environment where misinformation regarding the relative risks of vaping remains concerningly high, these measures will only serve to perpetuate existing misconceptions in government, public health bodies and individuals looking to quit combustible tobacco.

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“The Scottish government should instead consider the UKVIA’s guidelines on preventing underage access, as well as its proposals for a comprehensive national test-purchasing scheme, and a more robust retailer licensing scheme to replace Scotland’s registration scheme.

“The UKVIA believes these steps, alongside calls by the industry to increase the penalties for breaches of existing regulations, would go further to prevent youth and never-smoker access, while retaining the visibility of e-cigarettes for adult smokers looking to quit.”

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