Vape shops in Aberdeen have backed a ban on selling the electronic cigarettes to under-18s, starting today.
The latest survey of schoolchildren in the North-east showed 24% of 15-year-old smokers in the region used e-cigarettes in 2015.
Allan Barclay, managing director of ecigs-scotland on Aberdeen’s Schoolhill, said the new laws were pushing the industry in the right direction.
He said: “We’re fully supportive of this and we’ve been working hard to ensure a smooth transition.
“We’ve been shouting for some regulation for some time now so legitimate vape retailers can trade with confidence.”
Dylan Clark, Assistant manager of Vaporised on Union Street, also backed the new laws.
He said: “It’s wrong for under-18s to be smoking.
“Saying that, I think parents would maybe prefer their kids to be vaping rather than smoking if they are going to do it.”
An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said e-cigarettes have not been licensed as medical devices to help smokers quit but could still be useful. She said: “Local smoking cessation services will not prescribe e-cigarettes as a method of stopping smoking, as they are not available in this way, so will always recommend products that are medicinally licensed, such as Nicotine Replacement Therapy and Champix.
“They are, however, happy to see people who are using e-cigarettes as a way of giving up tobacco.”
Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell said she believed e-cigarettes had a role in helping people quit smoking but children should not have access to either tobacco or e-cigarettes.
She said: “We know e-cigarettes are almost certainly safer than cigarettes and have a role to help people quit smoking but we don’t believe children should have access to them – that’s why these age restrictions are so important.
“From today it is illegal to sell e-cigarettes to, or buy them for, under-18s.”