HUGH Mulvihill’s letter (September 8) arguing against the banning of single-use vapes misses some important points about this new trend. For a start, the UK Government does not accept that nicotine, the highly-addictive stimulant drug in these vapes, is a drug of misuse. Smoking and alcohol are the domain of health ministers; drugs are not. Drugs are covered by justice ministers, as a criminal matter.

The second issue about this vaping problem is that 1.3 million of these vapes are dumped every week in the UK. They are made of hard-to-recycle plastic and have batteries that explode and cause fires in homes and recycling centres.

It is to prevent nicotine addiction in young teens, and the associated pollution problem, that I and many others are campaigning to, ban these vapes. For centuries Big Tobacco has successfully addicted billions of people to nicotine, in cigarettes, sadly causing the early deaths of 50% of smokers. It is true that nicotine itself is not the cause of these untimely deaths, it is the 7,000 other chemicals, flavours and unknown substances that have been added to cigarettes to attract as wide a section of the population to smoke that has caused the lethal cancers, lung and heart problems.

Decades of careful work has reduced child smoking in Scotland down to under 7% but the new vaping trend has now got more than 11.6% of young teens addicted to nicotine, and one in three of these disposable vape users are converting to smoking cigarettes.

Disposable single-use vaping, like smoking, has zero health benefits. These vapes are loaded with child-friendly flavours and unknown chemicals. Young teens do not need this form of vaping to quit their nicotine addiction problems. No doctor or health professional would prescribe this as a solution. Vaping is currently regulated by our smoking laws, which are completely ineffective, because they allow anyone to sell disposable single-use vapes.

Banning disposable vapes can be done by the Scottish Parliament. It will cost not one penny of public funds to stop this new drug misuse trend. Such a ban would also immediately prevent the vape-dumping environmental problem.

The drug barons have been using children as drug mules. The vaping industry is doing exactly the same, by using children as nicotine mules to increase their market. The UK Vaping Industry Association is panicking that the profiting from disposable vapes will be lost, so it is trying to scare us into believing that a complete ban will only increase the illegal vaping products being sold to teens. We need to nip this new drug addiction trend in the bud, very quickly, because a complete ban will help parents and teens to understand that they are all being conned into believing that this is safer than smoking.

Max Cruickshank, Glasgow.

Read more: It would be an act of utter folly to ban single-use vapes

Assisted Dying Bill must pass

MICHAEL Matheson and Humza Yousaf apparently oppose a sensible law on assisted dying ("Matheson opposed to assisted dying law", The Herald, September 7). These young men have evidently not experienced the loss of a beloved family member who was mentally competent, knowing death was inevitable, with a body wracked with cancer, enduring pain that no medication could relieve. In the case I refer to, Liam McArthur's Assisted Dying Bill, if properly constituted, could have saved up to eight weeks of suffering.

I am a retired farmer. If I had caused any of my dying or diseased animals agony like that I would have been, correctly, prosecuted. Why should humans have to suffer long-term whilst animals are better cared for?

It has been widely stated that between 70% and 80% of Scots wish a properly constituted assisted dying law to be available to the poor Scots who cannot afford to travel to another sensible country to end their suffering. Many major countries have made provision for this purpose. In Oregon, USA, it has been legal for terminally ill, mentally competent adults to have an assisted death since 1997, with none of the predicted dire consequences.

Gordon Caskie, Campbeltown.

Older Scots have much to thole

WE read that more than two-thirds of older Scots consider that they are not appreciated by society ("Older Scots don’t feel valued", The Herald, September 4). It is not difficult, I believe, to understand why such a perception should exist. The older generation has been faced with profound changes and developments in society. Let us consider some of them: There is being viewed by many businesses and organisations as some kind of non-person when one lives without an email address; the widespread closure of many bank branches leading to difficulty for many with regard to having face-to-face meetings with staff and at times having problems with convenient access to cash; the planned changes to landline telephone facilities, a must-have for many elderly people, come 2025; the objections being expressed to the triple lock on state pension provision; the pressure to do applications online, such as passports, driving licences and income tax returns; during the pandemic the release of patients from hospital to go into care homes without checks for Covid; delays in accessing medical attention and being made to feel like some kind of second-class citizen when not having a smart telephone.

There may well be other instances which some would wish to see added. Of course, it has not all been downside for the older members of our society today. Most of them, for example, unlike their parents and grandparents, have not been faced with the demands and sacrifices of world wars. One senses at times that there are those in society who look to the day when the current generation of those recognised as the elderly have passed on and life can be become even more streamlined with a lot fewer complaints about the nature and pace of change.

Meantime, I and others among the "older" can gather some comfort from the observation made by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "the best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles."

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

Nettle guru

REGARDING the discussion on nettles (“We need serious policies for the challenges we face”, The Herald, September 4, and Letters, September 8), I remember being taught this jingle at school many years ago: "Gently touch a stinging nettle. and it hurts you for your pains.

"Touch it like a man of mettle, and it soft as silk remains."

Gordon W Smith, Paisley.