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    Friday, 27 July 2018 16:08
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Umesh Modi is a chartered accountant, and Pamini Jatheeskumar is a chartered certified accountant at Silver Levene...
  Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead...
Don Lavoie is alcohol programme manager at Public Health England and Gul Root is lead pharmacist, Health and Wellbeing Directorate, Public Health England
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ScottishParliamentMarch 9 2016

Legislation which includes laws relating to the sale of e-cigarettes and health professionals’ duty of candour has been passed by the Scottish Parliament.

The new Act includes:

  • the regulation of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of non-medicinal e-cigarettes to under-18s or the purchase by an adult for a minor, and requiring non-pharmacy retailers to join a central register
  • making it a statutory offence to smoke in the vicinity of hospital buildings
  • a statutory duty of candour, placing a duty on all health and social care organisations to be open when a patient has suffered unintended harm during a period of treatment or care
  • the creation of new criminal offences of wilful neglect or ill treatment that would apply to the rare cases where there has been intentional neglect or ill-treatment in the health or social care system (it would not include instances of genuine error or accident).

A final debate on the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc and Care) (Scotland) Bill heard the Minister for Public Health, Maureen Watt, say that the bill was not about stigmatising smokers.
“The bill introduces controls that are specific to e-cigarettes, or nicotine vapour products—NVPs—as they are termed in the bill. There has been much debate among experts about the potential risk, and the potential benefits, of those new products.

“The Scottish Government has worked closely with experts and stakeholders and listened to their views to achieve the right balance in regulating NVPs. I am pleased that we can all agree that non-medicinal NVPs should not be available to children under the age of 18 and that over-18s should be prevented from purchasing such products on their behalf,” she said.

“There is nothing in the bill that demonises NVPs or NVP users, and I have been clear that any public health gains should not be hindered by unnecessary regulation. However, it has been agreed that there is no place for marketing of the products to children, young people or non-smokers. The detail of such a prohibition will be set out in regulations.”

Rhoda Grant, MSP for Highlands and Islands, noted that pharmacists had been concerned about having to register as tobacco retailers if they were to use NVPs as part of their smoking cessation programmes. She noted that Malcolm Chishom had lodged amendments to resolve those issues. “He received the reassurance from the minister that they would be dealt with quite separately, which gives comfort to organisations that would be selling NVPs for therapeutic reasons,” she said.

With regards professional standards, Ms Watts said the duty of candour on organisations “will require organisations to take action to meet, apologise to and support the affected person.” Regulations will set out the requirements for recording and monitoring incidents and the provision of training and support to staff who carry out the procedure.

“The bill also requires all organisations to report publicly on the number and nature of the events that have been disclosed to people and to confirm that the obligations of the organisational duty of candour have been met,” she said.

The Welsh Assembly has also been debating amendments to its own legislation around e-cigarettes in its Public Health Bill. It had already agreed to restrict the use of e-cigarettes and other nicotine inhaling devices in certain enclosed public spaces.

This latest stage of the Bill proposed to extend the list to include shops (except specialist tobacconists), and healthcare premises including GP surgeries and hospital car parks.
However, the Welsh Government has also proposed that specific premises should be exempt from the e-cigarette restrictions including pharmacy consulting rooms.

Links:

Scottish Parliament debate - Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc and Care) (Scotland) Bill

Scottish Government announcement

Welsh Government announcement

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