ScotGov confirms generational tobacco ban

Scottish government aligns with Westminster on new controversial tobacco ban

THE Scottish Government has confirmed that Westminster’s plans for a generational tobacco ban will come into effect in Scotland.

The controversial new legislation will impose a ban on the sale of tobacco products to anyone born from 1 January 2009, meaning consumers who turn 18 in 2027 will not be able to legally purchase tobacco products in the UK.

Jenni Minto, public health minister for Scotland, welcomed the new Tobacco and Vapes Bill and said: “Scotland has been a world-leader on a range of tobacco control measures, and while there has been a steady reduction in the proportion of people smoking we know it still damages lives and kills more than 8,000 people a year in Scotland.

“We will now consider how to use these powers, if passed by Westminster, with the consent of the Scottish Parliament, to benefit public health.

“We will continue our four-nations approach to avoid any unnecessary regulatory divergence and to offer more certainty and for business and consistency for consumers.”

The new bill, which was introduced in Westminster on 20 March, could also impose further restrictions on vaping devices as well including new powers to regulate displays, flavours and retail packaging on vapes and other nicotine products.

It will also remove existing Scottish provisions which make it an offence for a person under 18 to purchase tobacco products.

The new follows on from ScotGov’s proposals on the disposable vape ban, which will come into effect on 1 April 2025.

The controversial legislation has led many industry bodies to warn UK-wide governments about the potential criminal side effects it could have to retail businesses across the UK as the number of reported crimes continues to rise.

Speaking at the Scottish Grocers’ Federation’s crime seminar, Rupert Lewis, director of the Tobacco Manufacturers Association, said: “The burden of enforcing a phased generational ban will fall squarely on the shoulders of retailers, not consumers, and they will feel the full force of its impact.

“Fast forward a few years, and retailers will have to act as ‘judge and jury’ over which 28 or 29 or 30-year-olds (ever increasing in age) are allowed to buy tobacco or not.”