Scotland

E-cigarettes under-18 ban proposed by Scottish government

Woman smoking an e-cigarette Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Ms Watt said she wanted to prevent children from "smoking behaviours"

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

Public health minister Maureen Watt said the measure would be taken forward in a Health Bill, to be introduced later this year.

It will also make it an offence for an adult to buy e-cigarettes for a minor.

The bill would also make the smoking of tobacco in the vicinity of hospital buildings a statutory offence.

Currently all NHS boards operate a policy banning smoking on their grounds but it is not backed by legislation.

Ms Watt said: "E-cigarettes might have a place when it comes to helping current smokers to quit their habit.

"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. Through this bill we will seek to strike that balance."

She added: "We have long thought that it is wrong for people to have to walk through clouds of smoke when visiting hospitals. Following our consultation, and to support NHS boards, we believe the time is right to make it a statutory offence to smoke near health buildings."

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