There have been major concerns of late surrounding vaping and the rise in youth uptake, with the Scottish Government in particular taking a stance with a proposed ban on flavoured vapes.

As the country’s leading vaping retailer, we are urging the Scottish Government to follow the UK Government in cracking down on illegal youth vaping sales.

Plans announced by the UK Government include local enforcement squads made up of trading standards officers to carry out test purchases and clamp down on shops selling vapes to under-18s.

Under the progressive plans, vape starter kits will also be made available to one million smokers in an innovative "swap to stop" scheme.

The Scottish Government has considered restrictions on advertising and displays for vaping products with Scottish Green party MSP Gillian Mackay leading the way on a possible flavour ban, believing that sweet flavours are a way to “target a new generation of users”.

While youth access to vaping products is a serious problem, and one that needs to be addressed, it would be misguided to ban vape flavours in an attempt to eliminate youth uptake. Banning flavours would disproportionately harm adult smokers who are trying to quit, which runs against the goals of public health and government of reaching a smoke-free society.

VPZ has over 150 stores throughout the country and has helped over 700k people quit smoking since establishing in 2012.

At the moment we have a challenge in the industry where many imported, unregulated, disposable vaping products are readily available from local convenience stores, supermarkets and several other general retailers with no age verification checks or control in place.

The plans announced by the UK Government are a progressive move which will see targeted action on youth vaping, focusing on the irresponsible retailers which are supplying to youths.

VPZ has previously presented plans to both the UK and Scottish Government and it’s vital that we now also see positive action from the Scottish Government in tackling this issue.

Scotland showed bravery in being the first UK nation to introduce a smoking ban in public places in 2006. However, we are now looking out of touch.

We need to see positive action and go even further by following best practices from countries like New Zealand, where flavoured products can only be sold from specialist licensed vaping stores where there is a challenge 25 policy and consultation is aimed towards adult smokers and vapers.

We have also offered to collaborate with the Scottish Government in developing a similar "swap to stop" scheme which is being introduced by the UK Government.

Vaping has proven to be the most effective way for people to quit smoking and the scheme being introduced by the UK Government will bring new momentum to the nation’s smoke-free ambitions.

We would welcome the opportunity to collaborate with the Scottish Government to develop an initiative that will help more people quit smoking and transform the health of the nation.

Doug Mutter is Director of Manufacturing and Compliance, VPZ