E-cigarette restrictions

New rules for purchase and supply of vapour products.

From today (1 April), new rules apply to the sale and purchase of tobacco and nicotine vapour products - known as NVPs or e-cigarettes.

This legislative changes mean that:

  • it is illegal to sell NVPs to anyone under 18
  • it is illegal to buy NVPs for someone under 18
  • all retailers selling tobacco or NVPs will need to be registered
  • stores will need to have an age verification policy for sales of tobacco and NVPs
  • an unauthorised person under 18 will not be able to sell these products

These were introduced in the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016. In addition, the Act proposed a number of restrictions around advertising NVPs and a ban on NVP vending machines, which will be introduced later this year.

Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said:

“We know e-cigarettes are almost certainly safer than cigarettes and have a role to help people quit smoking, but we don’t believe children should have access to them – that’s why these age restrictions are so important.

“From today it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to, or buy them for, under-18s. Additionally all retailers selling tobacco or e-cigarettes must be registered and undertake age verification.

“We are working closely with the Scottish Grocers’ Federation to make retailers aware of these changes and what they mean for their daily business. A campaign is already underway across Scotland and will continue to run throughout the summer, to ensure everyone is aware of these changes to the law.”


Nicotine vapour products, or NVPs, is the term used in Scotland to cover all types of electronic cigarettes, vaping devices and related products.

Advice for retailers has been published online.


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