Scottish government to review second-hand effects of vaping

The Scottish government is to continue reviewing the effects of second-hand e-cigarette smoke on health after MSPs rejected a solicitor’s bid to have vaping banned in cars.

The Law Society of Scotland as well as pressure group Children in Scotland wanted to see legislation banning smoking in cars extended to include e-cigarettes.

However, MSPs unanimously voted in favour of the legislation, which provides for fines of up to £100 for anyone caught smoking in a car with a passenger under the age of 18.

The Law Society had suggested the Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) Bill be amended to include e-cigarettes but failed in its attempt.

Public health minister Maureen Watt said: “Smoking continues to be the biggest cause of preventable death in Scotland. The rationale for banning smoking in cars is based on the well-established evidence of the harms caused by second-hand smoke in enclosed spaces.

“As yet, the evidence does not suggest that there is significant harm from second-hand vapour in enclosed public spaces. Therefore, the Scottish government has no current plans to legislate on the use of e-cigarettes in enclosed spaces, including cars. We will continue to monitor emerging evidence.”

Addressing ministers, the Law Society had said: “We would suggest the provisions be extended to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes.

“While we recognise that some may believe that nicotine vapour products may be a safer alternative to conventional cigarettes, more information is still required on the long-term risks and benefits to public health in general and particularly to children and young persons.”

Children in Scotland told ministers: “While we understand that the Scottish government is currently investigating further controls for e-cigarettes and how they may be covered under existing legislation for cigarettes at this time, there is not sufficient evidence to show the effects of second-hand smoke in e-cigarettes and therefore they should be regulated until proven to be safe to children.”