Make lab tests for toxic vapes compulsory, urge Scottish Greens

Vapes are damaging the health of young people, and our communities.

Independent lab tests on disposable vapes to check for harmful toxins and safety measures must be brought in to crack down on producers putting users at harm for profit, say the Scottish Greens.

MSP Gillian Mackay said checks should be made compulsory to reduce the risk to users - including children - removing the current system which allows for self-policing of legally produced vapes by the industry.

Millions of fake vapes have been seized by local authorities and at ports over the past three years as they flood into the country, none of which undergo safety tests either. 

Ms Mackay, the Scottish Greens health spokesperson, has been leading calls for a complete ban on disposable vapes on health and environmental grounds, which has drawn support across the country.

That includes calling for retailers to hide vapes from view and toughen up age challenges to make sure they do not fall into the hands of children. Her call for a ban has been echoed by the UK Government which is also now legislating.

She said: “The risk to users from unscrupulous suppliers is too great to leave to chance, so we urgently need to get a grip of this ridiculous situation where it is the producers themselves who check their own homework.

“What I am calling for is a UK-wide scheme where independent, verified labs carry out tests to crack down on harmful chemicals and dodgy construction, which could leave anyone in danger on a number of levels.

“There is nothing like enough real checks being carried out and while a potential ban is being considered, preventative action must be taken now, including a licensing scheme for importers to deal with the issue.”

An estimated 360 million vapes a year are being sold in the UK, with more than 22% of those aged under 18 in Scotland having tried vaping according to government data. Some 1.3 million are believed to be littered on our streets and countryside every week. 

The Scottish Government launched its Tobacco and vaping framework: roadmap to 2034 last month, with the aim to make Scotland tobacco free. A new advertising campaign highlighting the dangers of vaping is also running nationwide. 

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