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Scottish Law Society called for legislation to ban smoking in cars that are carrying children to be extended to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes

The Law Society of Scotland considers that the cigarette ban enforced by the Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) Bill accepted by the Parliament on December 17, does not go far enough and should cover the e-cigarette as well. The use of an e-cigarette in private vehicles has recently been forbidden in the presence of children under 16 years old in Australia and the idea is apparently snowballing.

“We would suggest that the provisions be expressly extended to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes” -The Law Society of Scotland
Represented by about 10,500 solicitors, the Law Society of Scotland failed last week in a bid to have the Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) Bill amended until the full facts about the health impact of the vaping devices are known. The body is aware of the PHE’s conclusions in terms of benefits to public health but also considers that the long term risks are not sufficiently well circumscribed by researchers and calls for the protection of children until enough proof is given.

“We had hoped that the legislation be extended to expressly prohibit the use of e-cigarettes as well as conventional cigarettes, especially in relation to young people, so it is disappointing to see this hasn’t been included”, said Alison Britton, convener of the Law Society of Scotland’s health and medical law committee. “Taking into account there will undoubtedly be an updating of research, not only into the effects of e-cigarettes, but the harmful effects of tobacco in general in the next few years, this would have potentially given us the opportunity to ensure that the legislation remained fit for purpose,” she said.

The Law Society of Scotland said: “We would suggest that the current definition of ‘to smoke’ within the act may not cover e-cigarettes as the definition contained within clause 3 (3) states ‘lit substance or mixture which includes tobacco’.