Prohibition of the sale and supply of single-use vapes: Fairer Scotland Duty summary - interim

The interim Fairer Scotland Duty assessment for the proposed prohibition of the sale and supply of single-use vapes.

Summary of evidence

23. A ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes has the potential to impact everybody in Scotland who uses these items. It is however important to ensure that the impact on those who experience socio-economic disadvantage is understood. This may be experienced through low income, low wealth, material deprivation, area deprivation or socio-economic background.

24. The proposed introduction of a ban on the sale and supply of single-use vapes is intended to be UK-wide. It is anticipated that the price and availability of single-use vapes relative to reusable vapes will change as a result of market dynamics[41], regardless of any action taken by Scotland. The size of this effect is unknown at this time, however it cannot be assumed that single-use vapes would remain cheaper or more readily available than reusables.

25. A new Vaping Products Duty will be introduced by the UK government in October 2026. A public consultation[42] is underway on this new duty and will close on 29 May 2024. It sets out the proposals for how the duty will be designed and implemented and will be accompanied by a one-off increase in tobacco duties. It is acknowledged that the duty will result in a price increase in reusable vapes products, specifically the replacement liquid refill.

26. The possible impacts of the proposal on lower-income households have been assessed based on the available evidence. At this time, no definitive impacts have been identified for those experiencing socio-economic disadvantages. However, a small number of evidence gaps have been identified and should be explored further during the consultation. They are particularly relevant where the use of single-use vapes is to aid in smoking cessation. As mentioned in paragraph 25, the proposed Vaping Products Duty will increase costs of reusable vapes products from 2026. This will result in price increases for users of reusable vapes.

  • Vape use is more common in lower socioeconomic groups. This may result in a disproportionately high proportion of those using vapes to stop smoking being from lower income groups. Additionally, it is recognised that this group may find it harder to stop than those from higher income groups[43].
  • Homeless groups have high rates of smoking and may be less able to use reusables than other groups of vape users.
  • The proposal may increase the short-term costs of vaping, which could impact on those from lower socio-economic groups, leading to unequal health outcomes associated with smoking cessation.
  • The proposal has potential to narrow inequalities in experience of littering.



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