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Child Vaping Health Dangers Highlighted by New Campaign

A new campaign warning parents, carers and children of the dangers of vaping has been launched by the Scottish government.

It is part of a plan to save thousands of lives a year by making the country tobacco-free by 2034.

Smoking is responsible for more than 8,000 deaths a year in Scotland.

A separate UK-wide consultation on creating a smoke-free generation closes next month.

Public Health Minister Jenni Minto said the Scottish government was working towards a ban on disposable vapes and suggested it could be in place by 2025.

She also said there was the possibility of action on Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s plan to raise the age of tobacco purchase every year.

It would mean a 14-year-old now could not legally purchase products in the future.

Ms Minto said smoking damaged lives and was responsible for one in five deaths in Scotland.

She added: “It causes preventable ill health and loss of life of loved ones, is a significant burden on our NHS and social care services, and is the leading preventable cause of health inequalities and costs the economy millions each year in lost productivity.

“Although we have seen smoking rates decline, and Scotland has already introduced a range of world-leading tobacco control measures, we want to do more to help us achieve our goal of being tobacco-free by 2034.

“This framework will provide direction for a decade and allow us to be more responsive in dealing with a variety of nicotine and tobacco products.”

In June a Scottish government report found that 22% of all under-18s – around 78,000 – are believed to have used a vape last year with more young people using them than smoking cigarettes.

The minister said e-cigarettes were one of a range of tools for adult smokers to quit smoking but “should never be used by young people or adult non-smokers”.

The new campaign is designed to prevent people becoming addicted in the first place.

Ms Minto said: “It is much easier to never start than it is to give up.”

The framework for reaching the 2034 goal includes action to raise the age limit for sales of tobacco and plans to improve services to help people quit.

In addition, the Scottish government will continue to review what further action is needed to limit the appeal of vapes to children, young people and non-smokers during its first phase, which will run until November 2025.

The new Take Hold marketing campaign will increase awareness of the harms and risks of nicotine addiction.

As well as radio, TV and outdoor advertising, schools across Scotland will be provided with digital guidance packs and resources for posters.

Its key message is that vapes may quickly become harmfully addictive for children and young people, affecting their concentration, mental health and mood.

Ministers have also pledged to work with the UK government and the devolved administrations on a four nations approach.

Last month Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the Conservative conference that plans to phase out the sale of cigarettes in England would be the “biggest public health intervention in a generation”.

Mr Sunak wants to raise the legal age of smoking every year by a year so that eventually no-one can buy tobacco.

Setting a legal smoking age is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The proposal to raise the age of sale of cigarettes is similar to laws being introduced in New Zealand, where buying tobacco products will remain banned for anyone born after 2008.

Source : BBC