College welcomes new consultation on single use disposable vapes

The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (“the College”) is welcoming a new consultation on disposable vapes which was announced by the Scottish Government today as part of the Programme for Government. The College recently joined the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and ASH Scotland in urging the Scottish Government to consider implementing an outright ban on disposable e-cigarette products, due to their disproportionate use among children and young people and their detrimental impact on the environment. Zero Waste Scotland published a report earlier this year suggesting 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. Two-thirds of all users are thought to be aged 25 or under.

Speaking today Dr Susan Pound, Vice President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, said:

The College welcomes this new consultation and hopes that the Scottish Government will consider all the available evidence and then take action promptly to protect children and young people from the very real and potentially very dangerous impacts of vaping.

Many of the College’s members, especially those working in cardiovascular medicine, are deeply concerned by evidence from the WHO that suggests there is ‘strong to conclusive’ evidence that many young people using e-cigarettes are at an increased risk of progression to using lit smoked tobacco, including cigarettes. Harmful chemical substances, sometimes toxic, have also been found in some vapes.

The College also recognises that the environmental impact of around 1.3 million disposable vapes being thrown away each week in the UK is severe.

We would urge individuals with concerns about vaping use in young people and other health experts and organisations to respond to the consultation and we look forward to giving our views as part of that process.