New e-cigarette controls proposed in bill

The Scottish Government wants to "limit the prevalence of smoking behaviours".

A ban on the sale of electronic cigarettes to under-18s will be included in new legislation proposed by the Scottish Government.

Public Health Minister Maureen Watt said the measure will be taken forward in the forthcoming Health Bill following a consultation.

The Bill, to be introduced later this year, will make it an offence for an adult to buy e-cigarettes for anyone under 18 and will require retailers to be registered.

It will also seek to make smoking in the vicinity of hospital buildings a statutory offence.

The measures were welcomed by anti-smoking charity ASH Scotland.

Chief executive Sheila Duffy said: “I’d like to see this legislation walk the tightrope of protecting our children from commercial companies selling recreational nicotine while at the same time facilitating adult smokers to be free from tobacco.”

Ms Watt said: “This government is not opposed to e-cigarettes but we think it is right to protect children from nicotine addiction, and to limit the prevalence of smoking behaviours.

“We have long thought that it is wrong for people to have to walk through clouds of smoke when visiting hospitals.”