Members of the Scottish Public Health System have issued a position statement that calls for national and local action to help stop tobacco smoking and youth vaping in Scotland.
The group, a collaboration between Public Health Scotland and Scottish Directors of Public Health, highlights that both issues present a public health challenge that requires bold and collective action.

Smoking alone contributed to over 8,000 deaths in Scotland in 2022 and is a major cause of health inequalities across the country.

The rapid rise of youth vaping is also a concern. In 2022, 25% of 15-year-olds reported using an e-cigarette in the last 30 days, compared to just 7% in 2018. There are worries about the unknown long-term negative health outcomes of vaping and that e-cigarettes can be a gateway to smoking tobacco.

The position statement calls for six areas of action to be considered, which include addressing price, availability, promotion, resilience among young people and children, control of sales, and prevention.

Dr Garth Reid, Consultant at Public Health Scotland, said:
“Smoking is a major contributor to ill health and early death in Scotland that disproportionately affects those living in our most deprived communities, with people in these areas almost four times as likely to smoke as those living in other areas. We have an opportunity to change this.

“Scotland has a strong track record of world-leading public health policy that has saved tens of thousands of lives and it can continue to play a leading role by taking the necessary steps to reduce the harm that tobacco causes. Recent announcements by the UK and Scottish Governments are a positive development but more needs to be done nationally and locally.

“E-cigarettes are not products for children and so we are deeply concerned over the huge rise in youth vaping. Currently, e-cigarettes are too easily available so it’s important to reduce their accessibility and visibility. We must also continue efforts to foster more positive attitudes that keeps young people and children away from using e-cigarettes in the first place.”

View the ‘Stopping tobacco smoking and youth vaping’ position statement

Last updated: 28 March 2024