Tobacco and vaping framework: roadmap to 2034

This focuses on both tobacco and vaping and sets our direction to 2034. It also includes the first implementation plan, which will run until November 2025.

1. Foreword

In Scotland, smoking causes one in five deaths. Over 8,000 lives a year are cut short from diseases caused by smoking.

Large parts of the harm caused by cancers, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease is caused by smoking. Harm that is entirely preventable.

Smoking causes illness, disability for many years, and deaths, with the highest burden falling on the poorest members of our society.

Smoking damages lives across Scotland from our earliest years to our latest. It is a leading risk factor in stillbirth, cuts lives short by ten years on average, and increases the risk of dementia. I have personal experience of this with one of my grandparents, who was advised to stop smoking to extend their life – which they thankfully did and provided me with 16 years of precious memories.

From our work with the Poverty Alliance we know that most people who smoke want to stop, but the powerful addiction nicotine creates is in their way.

We want to make it easier for people to never start.

Smoking slows progress on our three National Missions of Equality; Opportunity; and Community.

Equality: Smoking is the leading preventable cause of health inequalities. Addressing smoking tackles poverty.

Opportunity: Smoking costs the Scottish economy millions each year in lost productivity. Addressing smoking supports a wellbeing economy.

Community: Smoking causes significant burden on our NHS and social care services. Addressing smoking supports the delivery of high quality public services.

As Minister for Public Health and Women's Health, I want to create a Scotland where we all live longer, healthier lives.

When I first started working people smoking in the workplace was normal; tobacco and smoke was everywhere. I am thankful for the effort and policy that has gone before me that means this is no longer the case.

We have made significant shifts in how we view tobacco in Scotland. We have historically low smoking rates, but there is still much more we need to do. Our goal is a tobacco free Scotland and I'm delighted to be able to introduce the 2023 Tobacco and Vaping Framework – a road map to 2034.

Cessation services – including our Scotland wide Quit Your Way Service – were affected by Covid-19, with many staff being redeployed to work on the pandemic. It's been a priority to get these services back on track. The implementation of recommendations from the Public Health Scotland led cessation services review are central to the success of the Tobacco and Vaping Framework. The advice and support offered by cessation services are crucial to ensuring that people who want to quit stay on that journey to be tobacco free.

In recent years there have been developments in cessation and with the notable increase in people using e-cigarettes, more commonly known as vapes. I recognise these products can be one of range of tools for adult smokers to quit smoking, however they should never be used by young people or adult non-smokers.

The long-term harms of these products remain unknown, and we must remain cautious even if recent evidence does show their effectiveness as a cessation tool. I recognise the need for action to prevent young people using vapes and becoming addicted to nicotine. This is something we are hearing directly from the voices of our young people. The framework sets out how we will do that in Scotland and where we are able to do that in collaboration with United Kingdom Government and the other Devolved Governments and Administrations. We know that by working together on these issues we can provide a more powerful, consistent voice.

I have also had the pleasure of working in partnership with the Minister for Green Skills, Circular Economy and Biodiversity on single-use vaping products – working together to create a solution that balances both environmental impact and public health.

The Tobacco and Vaping Framework will provide direction for next ten years, and it will also allow us to be responsive to the novel nicotine and tobacco products which are, and will continue, to be an unfortunate reality. I believe this responsiveness will work better for Scotland and the people of Scotland on our journey to being a tobacco free nation.

Running through the framework is our commitment to Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization (WHO) Framework Convention of Tobacco Control (FCTC). Article 5.3 is clear that Governments must take steps to ensure the development of public health policy is protected from the interests of the tobacco industry. In line with this, we interact with the tobacco industry only when necessary to effectively regulate the industry and its products. Where interactions are necessary, we will ensure that such interactions are conducted transparently and any correspondence published on the Scottish Government website. Transparency is at the heart of the Framework.

There is also a recognition that many of the proposals in the Framework will have an impact on the way in which businesses in Scotland operate, and as part of our commitment to New Deal for Business we will engage at an early stage in the process to work with businesses (and a range of other key stakeholders) to ensure that any impact of proposals on business is fully understood and that policy implementation is effective and proportionate, while still delivering the beneficial outcomes for population health that we are seeking.

The Tobacco and Vaping Framework has not been created in isolation and I would like to formally thank all those stakeholders who have been involved in its development. Many stakeholders have also committed to staying involved and will sit on the range of governance and short life working groups that will keep us accountable as we journey towards a tobacco free Scotland.

I am looking forward to living in a healthier, cleaner and tobacco free Scotland.



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