What is Scotland Doing to Combat Smoking


Tobacco doesn’t only affect lives (causing cancer), but it also takes a serious toll on a country’s economy. Although the British government is making serious efforts to curb the rate of tobacco smokers, it is also seen encouraging the British population to adopt healthier alternatives, such as e-cigs. While vaping may have some side effects, it remains an effective way of transitioning from tobacco cigarettes to vape devices before eventually going cold turkey. 

The UK government has the vision to get the entire country smoke-free by the year 2030, which is why we are witnessing an increased effort to raise awareness about the importance of living a healthier life and preventing cancer and other illnesses caused by tobacco smoking. 

According to the policy manager of England’s Cancer Research, the goal is to make “tobacco-smoking” a thing of the nation’s past and wipe it out fully by the end of this decade (2030). However, to achieve this goal, the government needs serious support from the citizens through continuous adjustments and abiding by the laws.

When it comes to what Scotland is doing to combat smoking, they stand in harmony with the government’s plan of eliminating tobacco by the end of 2034. Some radical actions to induce the desired change are being taken in this regard, including the following: 

The goal of establishing a tobacco-free nation has led Scotland to take the following actions:

  1. Since last year, Scotland has banned smoking tobacco around sensitive areas, such as hospitals (2020).
  2. Scotland has started regulating the sale of nicotine vaping products (NVPs) and E-cigs.
  3. Scotland has started promoting stop-smoking support groups, such as “Quit Your Way.”
  4. Scotland has also established smoke-free and tobacco-free prisons to give a chance to the inmates to quit smoking and live healthier.
  5. Scotland has incorporated new rules for the supply and purchase of vaping products.
  6. For the last two decades (2002), Scotland has banned the commercial display of tobacco and tobacco-related products. 
  7. Scotland has also successfully banned smoking tobacco in enclosed public spots since 2006.
  8. The legal age to purchase tobacco in Scotland is between 16 and 18.

What does Scottish law say?

In Scotland, it is seen as a legal offence to sell nicotine vaping products (NVPs) to individuals younger than 18. In this way, Scotland effectively safeguards people under 18. Hence the act of selling or offering tobacco cigarettes and nicotine vaping products or E-cigs to people below 18 and without authorization can lead to serious legal trouble. 

Besides, suppose the sellers of e-cigs and tobacco products fail to incorporate an age-verification process or policy at the premises where they sell tobacco and vape-related products. In that case, it will be seen as a legal offence. It is equally a legal offence in Scotland to purchase E-cigs and nicotine vaping products for people below the legal age of 18.

Lastly, no one in England and Scotland can carry out an E-cig, tobacco, and NVP business without having their business legally registered first. 

The sale and display of tobacco and tobacco-related products also have some legal constrictions in Scotland:

  1. It is banned to display NVPs, tobacco, and smoking-related products at shops in Scotland.
  2. No one is allowed to incorporate the sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products through vending machines.
  3. It is a legal crime to introduce a registration scheme for tobacco and tobacco-related products where retailers can join for free. 
  4. Scottish law also prohibits the selling of tobacco to people below 18. It prohibits the purchase of tobacco and tobacco-related products for people below the legal age of 18.
  5. In Scotland, the courts have the authority to ban potential retailers from selling their tobacco-related products if they have been found to have broken the law(s) perpetually. 

The Objective of Scotland’s Stop-Smoking Group – Quit Your Way

As mentioned before, the goal of the UK is to get their country smoke-free by the end of the upcoming decade – 2030. It is understood that the journey of becoming smoke-free cannot be made without support. That said, the Scottish support group “Quit Your Way” encourages people to join them and boost their chances of going tobacco-free by joining their group and making the transition with other people who are just like them!

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