Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Scotland bans tobacco displays and vending machines – but e-cigarettes are waiting

Smoking cough ashtray

It’s been a while in coming, as the tobacco giants tried various weasely legal ploys in order to circumvent the law, but they were never going to win against the Scottish Government’s intention to implement their tobacco display bans.

Tobacco & Primary Medical Services (Scotland) Act 2010 prohibits the display of tobacco products and smoking related products in places where tobacco products are offered for sale.

The ban on open display of tobacco products in large shops and sales from self-service tobacco vending machines will be introduced on 29 April, with small retailers being given until 6 April, 2015. The additional time recognises changes maybe harder for them to implement quickly.

Imperial Tobacco lost its legal challenge against the ban at the end of last year, after bringing the issue before Supreme Court judges, when the company tried to claim that the act was outside the competence of Holyrood as sales supply and product safety were matters reserved to Westminster. A panel of five judges unanimously ruled against the company, saying its challenges were not well-founded, and threw their the claim out.

Via Tobacco display ban in Scotland to come into effect on 29 April and Date set for tobacco display and vending machine bans in Scotland | Scotland | News | STV

The rise of the e-cigarette

As if to prove there’s still plenty of mileage in the old saying that “A fool and their money are soon parted“, it seems that sales of electronic cigarettes are on the up, with the number now en route to the millions.

It’s a difficult one to call in some respects, as there’s probably no argument in the case of the devices helping addicted smokers get away from the filthy tar-filled cancer sticks filled with tobacco, and the e-cigarette, which provides a stream of nicotine vapour for them to inhale.

For a smoker, the latter is preferable as it removes most of the health hazards – and I have watched as three members of my family expire in horrible deaths that ended in hospital as a result of circulation problems that robbed them of their legs or health, and gave them anything but a peaceful death in their beds.

But, there is still the strange addiction of sucking on a little stick and blowing smoke (or vapour in the case of the e-cigarette) which seems to be some sort of sad ‘learned behaviour’ that attracts new addicts, and trains children as they watch parents and adults.

It seems that these devices, despite delivering a drug (nicotine), are unregulated, so the purity of they substance is uncertain (who knows what else it may contain), there is no restriction on the dosage, and anyone can buy and use it, including children.

One wonders if there is also a case for seeing these ‘harmless’ devices in the same light as so-called ‘soft drugs, which many see merely as a preparation and stepping-stone towards harder and more addictive drugs. Once the body becomes accustomed to the nicotine alone, the user desires something with a bit more of a ‘kick’, so after learning to smoke with an e-cigarette, will later change to ordinary tobacco, and its cocktail of hundreds (or is it thousands) of more interesting tastes and smells.

Via Electronic cigarettes – miracle or menace?

It’s a slightly different addiction and habit, but I rather liked one of the displays in the shipping gallery of the Museum of Transport in Glasgow.

Along with the models, are excerpts from stories told by people who worked in the old shipyard on the Clyde, and my favourite quote on one of the boards came from one of the foremen in the yards. I haven;t seen it for years, but it roughly went like “Whenever I saw a pipe smoker, he was out. When you watched them on the job, the last thing they did was their job. The pipe came out, and they would ream the bowl out, and then clean the stem. Next was the tobacco, carefully prepared, shaped, and then packed into the bowl. Finally, they’d try to light the thing, a process that went on repeatedly as it went out and they built up a growing pile of spent matches. After all that, they’d decide the pipe needed to cleaned out again, and would start all over again. I never hired a man with a pipe.”

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February 15, 2013 - Posted by | Civilian | , , ,

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