Scotland has recently put forward an e cigarettes bill which will mean the sale of e cigarettes and their associated products will be banned for those under the age of 18.
Despite various research studies and statistics showing that e cigarettes are safe to use and are not a gateway to smoking normal cigarettes, anti-tobacco campaigners have still welcomed the bill. Ash (Action on Smoking and Health) Scotland stated that they believe “electronic cigarettes are less damaging to health than traditional cigarettes” (http://www.scotsman.com/news/scotland/top-stories/e-cigarette-bill-welcomed-by-campaigners-1-3793929)
The bill will make it illegal for under-18’s to purchase e cigarettes and their associated products, and for over-18’s to purchase e cigarettes and their associated products for under-18’s putting e cigarettes in the same category as normal cigarettes despite e cigarettes being actively backed by various health officials and medical experts as a safe alternative to smoking.
This bill is would appear to be conflicting with the recent bill from the Scottish government which detailed the voting age for young adults to be lowered to 16 and 17 olds. Suggesting that Scotland’s government believes under-18’s are mature and educated enough to have a say in the future of their country, but not in their own health choices, without even taking into consideration the fact vaping is widely considered as safe and the fact only 0.2% of e cigarette users go on to smoke normal cigarettes (http://news.sky.com/story/1488651/half-a-million-smokers-switch-to-e-cigarettes).
The majority of Scotland’s young people want the right to vote for the future of their country, so shouldn’t they by rights be allowed to choose whether or not to vape?
It would seem the under-18 e cigarette sale ban could be considered nonsensical and patronising to the youth of Scotland. E cigarettes are not the same as normal cigarettes and can be consumed without the use of any nicotine so are by rights, non-addictive products. They are proven not to be a gateway to normal smoking and they actively promote the avoidance of cigarettes and tobacco products. The bill is surely a contradiction from the Scottish government. Teens can vote on something as important as the future of their country, but not have the choice to enjoy a safe and heavily researched activity like vaping.
Scotlands youth deserve more rights and respect – if they can vote on the country’s future, they can actively make a balanced decision about whether or not to vape – they deserve the right to choose.