Scottish Government should encourage vaping as way to give up cigarettes, poll suggests

Almost half of Scots think Holyrood should encourage cigarette smokers to switch to vapes, a poll has suggested, after a consultation called on advertising rules to be tightened.

According to the new survey for the Scottish Grocers’ Federation, 45 per cent said they tended to agree or strongly agree the Government should encourage tobacco smokers to switch to e-cigarettes.

Some 23 per cent indicated they did not agree, 23 per cent said they held no opinion either way, and 9 per cent said they did not know.

The poll, by the Diffley Partnership, asked more than 2,000 people for their views on smoking and vaping. Just under half of those surveyed are current or ex-smokers, and about one in five are current or ex-users of e-cigarettes.

A man vaping. Scots think Holyrood should encourage cigarette smokers to switch to vapes, a poll has suggested. Picture: Nicholas.T.Ansell/PA Wire

John Lee, SGF’s head of policy and public affairs, said “Scots, both smokers and non-smokers alike, are giving the thumbs up to e-cigarettes”.

“Vapers are telling us that they are turning to e-cigarettes because they are safer, cheaper and more likely to lead to them quitting for good,” he said.

The poll suggested e-cigarette users chose the products because they were cheaper and less harmful, and that 41 per cent of respondents said it helped them move away from cigarettes.

The survey comes in the wake of a Government consultation that proposes in-store promotional displays of e-cigarettes should be banned.

It has proposed “vaping products should be positioned purely as a smoking cessation aid to help those currently smoking tobacco products switch to a less harmful alternative and gradually quit completely”.