Concerns about proposals from the Scottish government to tighten the rules on advertising and promotion of vaping products, including restrictions on in-store displays, have been raised by the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS).
The Scottish government is consulting on new regulations on advertising and promotion of vaping products to ensure they are only used as an aid to stop smoking and prevent young people and adult non-smokers from the uptake of these products.
The consultation proposals would have a direct impact on convenience retailers by introducing restrictions on:
- in-store promotional displays and through distributing leaflets and flyers,
- advertising on billboards, advertising hoardings and placing adverts on moving video apparatus;
- distributing free or cut-price samples; and
- sponsoring an activity, event or person.
In its submission, ACS highlights the lack of clarity in the proposals and urges the Scottish government to provide clearer definitions of in-store promotional displays, leaflets, flyers and moving video apparatuses, if they are to proceed with new regulations.
ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We do not support proposals to ban in-store displays or use of leaflets and flyers that promote e-cigarettes. These types of interventions have a disproportionate impact on local shops that have limited space to display products meaning they would incur significant financial cost to refit stores.
“Banning in-store promotions and other advertising mechanisms would also reduce access to vaping products, which are a growing category for retailers and are widely considered to be an important smoking cessation tool. The Scottish Government should instead focus resource on enforcement activity to remove illegal e-cigarette products from the market.”