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Trading Standards highlight risks from disposable vaping products in Scotland

Posted 22/02/22

A comprehensive examination of the market in Scotland for single use, or disposable, vaping products was carried out during October to December 2021, and found a wide range of non-compliant devices, with both safety and health risks. The project involved most of Scotland’s local authority trading standards services and was coordinated by The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS).

The project was influenced by press reports and information from Trading Standards throughout the UK that illegal single use nicotine vaping products (NVPs) were on sale at retailers across the country and a suggestion that these devices were being used by young people under the age of 18.

In the event, trading standards teams visited 721 premises during the project, mostly retailers but also some wholesalers. In total, 88,839 disposable vaping devices were removed from sale as they were either not labelled correctly in accordance with the TARP Regulations, did not contain sufficient CLP regulation information or had not been published by the MHRA.  In addition, 3,683 disposable vaping devices were seized as they had a capacity of over the legal limit of 2ml.

Environmental concerns were also highlighted around the waste battery aspect of the devices, millions of which are imported every year, mostly from China. And health concerns about the attractive nature of these devices, which are often brightly coloured and made to be appealing to children.

Graeme Paton, Chair of SCOTSS, explained:

“Trading Standards teams across Scotland treat the sale of nicotine vaping products as a high priority, especially where children are concerned, and the rapid expansion of this market for disposable nicotine devices is worrying and presents real risks to the environment and health, especially the health of young people. 

“SCOTSS works very closely with Scottish Government colleagues around the regulation of nicotine vaping devices in Scotland and we will be highlighting these risks so that appropriate action can be taken.”

Sheila Duffy, CEO of ASH (Scotland), added:

“Trading Standards Officers in Scotland have done an excellent piece of work here in highlighting these issues. While some people use vaping to quit smoking, there is a real risk that these products can attract young people into experimentation and addiction. The current craze with disposable, brightly coloured and flavoured e-cigarettes can be child appealing and that is unacceptable.” 


Notes for Editors:

For press queries and further details on this project, email Ken Daly, SCOTSS Coordinator at [email protected]  or call 07720538349


The project interim report can be found on the SCOTSS website at www.scotss.org/press/vapeproject2022.pdf


  1. The Society of Chief Officers of Trading Standards in Scotland (SCOTSS) represents the 31 local authority Trading Standards services in Scotland. SCOTSS was established in 1996 and helps support and coordinate the activities of Scotland local authority trading standards teams. It is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation SC047951 and works closely with other governmental and regulatory organisations, such as the Competition and Markets Authority, the Office of Product Safety and Standards, Trading Standards Scotland, and the Scottish Government.


  1. Trading Standards Officers in Scottish councils advise on and enforce laws that govern the way we  buy, sell, rent and hire goods and services. Local authorities carry out inspections and monitor or investigate complaints, they work with businesses to help achieve compliance but ultimately, can instigate prosecutions or take civil actions against those who break the law. TSOs have been deeply engaged in work around the COVID-19 pandemic and are also at the frontline in dealing with the changes arising from Brexit.


  1. Disposable NVPs (Nicotine Vaping Products) in general are regulated by several and complex rules including the Tobacco and Related Product Regulations 2016 (TARP Regulations); the Tobacco and Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010; the CLP Regulation 1272/2008 (Classification, Labelling, and Packaging); the Waste Batteries and Accumulators Regulations 2009 (as amended), and there are a number of different national and local enforcers involved, local authority Trading Standards services; the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Office of Product Safety and Standards (OPSS), and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). All play their part in making these products safe.


  1. Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Scotland is an independent Scottish charity taking action to reduce the harm caused by tobacco. Their vision is that everyone has the right to good health and to live free from the harm and inequality caused by smoking. www.ashscotland.org.uk

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