Smoking is the primary preventable cause of ill-health and premature death.
That is why we have taken radical action to stub out smoking. We aim to create a tobacco free generation by 2034.
- regulating the sale of electronic cigarettes or NVPs
- promoting a new national brand - Quit Your Way - for the stop-smoking service which was launched in 2018
- using the Scottish Ministerial Working Group on Tobacco Control to help develop policy to reduce the impact of tobacco on Scotland's health
- managing the Register of Tobacco and Nicotine Vapour Product retailers
We have also:
- banned smoking around hospital buildings
- introduced new rules for the purchase and supply of vapour products in 2017
- banned tobacco advertising in 2002
- banned smoking in enclosed public spaces in 2006
- raised the age to buy tobacco from 16 to 18 in 2007
The World Health Organisation set out requirements for nations to help tackle the harms of tobacco in its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
We published our tobacco control action plan in June 2018. This five-year plan sets out 50 actions to address health inequalities and cut smoking rates in the communities where people find it difficult to quit.
Register of Tobacco and Nicotine Vapour Product retailers
From 1 April 2011 it became illegal for retailers to sell tobacco and nicotine vapour products without being registered. Retailers can register on the Scottish Register of Tobacco and Nicotine Vapour Product Retailers website or by using the paper form which can be downloaded from the website.
NHS Inform provide information on Stopping Smoking.
QuitYourWay is an advice and support service for anyone trying to stop smoking in Scotland. Contact them on 0800 84 84 84 anytime between 8am to 10pm 7 days a week.
Bills and legislation
The Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Act 2016 introduced new laws on the sale of tobacco and Nicotine Vapour Products (NVPs). This made it an offence to:
- sell NVPs to people aged under 18
- allow a person under 18 to sell tobacco, cigarette papers or NVPs without authorisation
- fail to operate an age verification policy at premises selling these products
- buy NVPs on behalf of people aged under 18
- carry on an NVP business without registration
The Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 contains measures aimed specifically at reducing the attractiveness and availability of tobacco to under 18s. Specifically it:
- bans the display of tobacco and smoking related products in shops
- bans the sale of tobacco from vending machines
- introduces a tobacco sales registration scheme, which will be free for retailers to join
- makes it an offence for under 18s to purchase tobacco
- makes it an offence for adults to buy tobacco for under 18s (proxy purchase)
- gives trading standards officers powers to issue fixed penalty notices
- gives courts the power to ban retailers from selling tobacco where they have continually broken the law
- the Act also amends the eligibility criteria for persons wishing to run a GP practice
The Sale of Tobacco (Register of Tobacco Retailers) Regulations 2010, which came out of the 2010 Act, introduced compulsory registration for retailers selling tobacco products. This was later expanded to included Nicotine Vapour Products (NVPs).
Tel: 0131 244 2169
Tobacco Control Team
3EN, St Andrews House