Prohibition of the sale and supply of single-use vapes: Equality Impact Assessment – Results

Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) results for the proposed prohibition on the sale and supply of single-use vapes in Scotland.

Executive summary

5. This Equalities Impact Assessment (EQIA) has been carried out to identify potential impacts resulting from the introduction of a prohibition on the sale and supply of single-use vapes (hereafter referred to as a ban on single-use vapes). This includes both nicotine and non-nicotine containing products since the environmental concerns exist for both types of products. Reusable vapes will be unaffected by this change.

6. It is important to note that the protected characteristics are not independent of each other, and some people may be affected by complex and interconnected issues related to disadvantage at any one time. It is also recognised that this intersectionality also applies to those experiencing socio-economic disadvantage, as highlighted in the Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment and those living in Island communities (ICIA).

7. Given the importance of assessing the impact on each of the protected characteristics, the Scottish Government considered the proposal against the needs of the general equality duty as set out in section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 and considered whether the measure could constitute direct and/or indirect discrimination.

8. Specifically, the EQIA considers impacts on equalities groups based on the three tests it is required to address:

  • Does this policy eliminate discrimination for each of the 9 protected characteristics (PCs). If not is the discrimination justifiable? Can it be mitigated?
  • Does this policy advance equality of opportunity for PC groups?
  • Does this policy foster good community relations between people of PC groups?

9. The proposal may impact on some people with certain protected characteristics. Findings suggest that the proposal could have a more significant impact on those with a disability and on older individuals.

10. The Scottish Government does not believe there to be sufficient evidence to amend the policy at this time. Alternatives to single-use vapes are widely available, including reusable vapes as well as nicotine patches and gum for smoking cessation purposes. The latter options are available through prescription for current cigarette smokers who are trying to stop.

11. It is also considered that there is a sufficient notice and transition period prior to the implementation of the regulations, due 1 April 2025, to allow those using single-use vapes to adjust to reusable alternatives.

12. Other factors investigated in relation to other protected characteristics do not appear, at this stage, to raise significant equality-related issues. There is potential this may be due to a lack of available published information and the individual circumstances of those impacted. Initial contact was made with a number of representative organisations ahead of the consultation period to gain additional insight. Continued engagement with equality representative organisations and individuals ahead of the policy coming into force may identify further impacts to be considered.



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