Scottish Government launches consultation on smoking regulations
The Scottish Government is seeking views on a number of potential changes to the regulation of electronic cigarettes and strengthening tobacco control in Scotland.
Members of the public and other interested parties are invited to give their views on a number of measures. The consultation responses will inform the development of any future legislation.
Respondents will be asked whether they think sale of e-cigarettes should be banned for those under 18. Currently there is no legal age limit for the devices. This would also include making it an offence for an adult to buy e-cigarettes for someone under age, so called proxy purchase.
The consultation will look at the establishment of restrictions on domestic advertising, which could include billboards, leafleting, brand-sharing, free distribution, nominal pricing, point of sale and events sponsorship.
The consultation includes the proposal that it should be illegal to smoke in a car if there is a child on board. This would apply if anyone under 18 was in the vehicle. The paper will also ask whether local authorities should be able to set up smoke-free zones around outdoor children’s play parks to protect children from second-hand smoke.
Another option on the table is to make it a statutory obligation for all NHS grounds to be smoke free. The Scottish Government has asked boards to do this by April 2015, but only on a voluntary basis.
Michael Matheson, Minister for Public Health, said: “Electronic cigarettes are relatively new, and there is very little regulation of their sale and use. This consultation is the first step towards proper regulation of the devices in Scotland. We will carefully consider the responses and decide what are the most appropriate next steps.
“It is very important we consider the restrictions on all forms of advertising on e-cigarettes, which I know is a concern to many.
“There are also some measures here to further protect children from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke. This year we launched our Take it Right Outside campaign, which urges people not to smoke near children. We have set a target to halve the number of children exposed to second-hand smoke by 2020, but we are actively looking at whether there is any further legislation that could help us to achieve this target.”
To implement the tobacco products directive UK-wide health departments have already agreed to consult on regulations for cross-border advertising of e-cigarettes, including TV, radio and internet. The consultation document can be viewed at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/10/5471
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and close on 2 January 2015