Tightening rules on advertising and promoting vaping products consultation response

In April 2022, we responded to a Scottish Government consultation on the advertising and promotion of vaping products in Scotland. Below is a short summary, with our full response available in the downloads section.

Our response

We welcomed the proposals set out in the consultation, due to the significant harms that smoking can cause. Smoking impacts the health of young people throughout their lives, with earlier initiation linked to increased levels of smoking and dependence, a lower chance of quitting and higher mortality.  

It is important that nicotine containing products, particularly inhalational products which are designed to maximise rapid delivery of the drug to the brain, should be highly restricted and should face the same restrictions as tobacco containing products – there should be no advertising, no sponsorship and plain packaging. 

As part of our response we also highlighted the recent publication of the RCPCH’s new policy recommendations on vaping in young people.

Our recommendations

  • We referred to our existing policy recommendations in relation to vaping. In the absence of long-term data and limited evidence on the impact of vaping in young people, our recommendations aim to prevent uptake and protect them from the harms of vaping, avoiding the messaging that vaping is safer than tobacco. 
  • We recommended that the Scottish Government should transition advertising of vaping products, so they are only advertised for their medicinal purpose as a smoking aid rather than a lifestyle product. 
  • We underlined our members’ concerns about the fact that young people may be more inclined to experiment with new products, especially of those which are flavoured and coloured to be appealing.  
  • We highlighted the need for a public health campaign for young people, which will expose and explain the dangers of vaping. Education is essential to highlight dangers of vaping both for existing users of vaping products and for potential future users who believe that the harms of vaping are insignificant.  

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting us at: enquiries-scotland@rcpch.ac.uk