Paediatricians have warned that “youth vaping is fast becoming an epidemic among children” as they referred to as on the federal government to ban disposable vapes.
In response to the federal government session on e-cigarettes, which closes on Tuesday, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) warned that e-cigarettes “are not a risk-free product and can be just as addictive, if not more so than traditional cigarettes”.
It is asking for pressing motion to guard children, saying specialists agree that longer-term knowledge is required on the results of vaping, notably in regard to heart problems.
“However, since e-cigarettes have only been on sale in the UK since 2007, long-term studies don’t yet exist,” it stated.
“We have even less evidence on the long-term impacts of these products on young lungs, hearts and brains.
“It took experts decades to fully understand the impact of traditional cigarettes, we cannot risk our children’s health in waiting this long again for longer-term studies.”
In May, knowledge for Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) confirmed there was a 50 per cent rise within the final yr in Great Britain within the proportion of kids making an attempt vaping.
It discovered an increase in experimental vaping amongst 11 to 17-year-olds, from 7.7 per cent final yr to 11.6 per cent this yr.
Children have been requested if they’d ever tried vaping a couple of times, with the proportion roughly doubling in 9 years, from 5.6 per cent in 2014 to 11.6 per cent.
Disposable vapes look like the e-cigarette of selection amongst children, whereas purchases of vapes are largely created from nook outlets.
In 2021, present little one vapers have been least more likely to vape disposables (7.7 per cent) however in 2022 they turned probably the most used (52 per cent) and this has continued to develop to 69 per cent in 2023.
It is illegitimate to promote vapes to under-18s however social media carries posts from youngsters displaying vapes and discussing flavours akin to pink lemonade, strawberry, banana and mango.
In its submission, the RCPCH additionally stated the “serious environmental impact of disposable e-cigarettes” should not be ignored.
Its vp for coverage and paediatric respiratory guide, Dr Mike McKean, stated: “Without a doubt, disposable e-cigarettes should be banned.
“There is absolutely no reason that these cheap, readily available, brightly coloured, recreational products should be single use.
“Youth vaping is fast becoming an epidemic among children, and I fear that if action is not taken, we will find ourselves sleepwalking into a crisis.
“Westminster’s approach to this problem is out of step with even our closest neighbours, with countries such as Scotland, France, Germany, and Ireland all seriously considering a ban…
“The government in Westminster has the responsibility and capability to make a choice that will have far-reaching consequences, potentially for generations to come.”
Libby Peake, head of useful resource coverage at Green Alliance, stated disposable vapes have been “the last thing our children and the planet need”, including: “They waste resources that are critical to the green transition – like lithium needed for the batteries that power electric cars.
“They’re extremely harmful when littered, because their batteries are a fire risk and the plastic and nicotine they contain are hazardous. And recycling them will always be labour-intensive and expensive.”
Elsewhere, in its response to the session, Ash stated there have been “four high-impact interventions” that ministers should urgently herald.
They are: put a selected tax on disposable vapes of £5; prohibit branding that may enchantment to kids; reinstate funding for sustained anti-smoking campaigns selling vaping as the simplest quitting help obtainable for grownup people who smoke; and prohibit in-store promotion of e-cigarettes with exemptions for age-restricted, specialist vape outlets.
It comes after prime minister Rishi Sunak stated a brand new authorities crackdown on vape advertising will forestall the “unacceptable” focusing on of kids and younger folks, with a pledge to shut a loophole permitting retailers to offer free samples of vapes to kids in England.
The prime minister additionally used an look on ITV’s Good Morning Britain to precise concern about his personal daughters doubtlessly being focused by vape advertising.
The authorities has stated that there can even be a evaluation into banning retailers promoting “nicotine-free” vapes to under-18s.
Regarding its proof to ministers, Deborah Arnott, chief government of Ash, stated it referred to as for more durable rules final yr however was ignored.
“Now that the prime minister is convinced, perhaps action will finally be taken,” she stated.
“Children are highly price sensitive so top of our list is to make disposable vapes less affordable by adding a £5 excise tax, which could be achieved immediately with a finance bill.
“This would not only increase the price but also make their distribution subject to much more stringent controls, making it easier to prevent illicit and underage sales.”
Ash stated it doesn’t help a whole ban on disposable vapes right now, believing it would drive “the illicit market thereby making it harder not easier to ensure products are recycled”.
It additionally stated it recognises that disposable vapes might have a task to play for some teams of notably deprived people who smoke.
Kate Pike, regional co-ordinator, Trading Standards North West and lead officer for vaping for the Chartered Trading Standards Institute, stated: “Applying excise tax to disposable vapes could give Border Force and HMRC more powers to stop illegal products being imported.
“Powers to impose enhanced on-the-spot fines would be a step in the right direction, but retailers have told me that the profits to be made from selling illegal vapes, and illegal tobacco too, are so large, that fines have little impact.
“What we really need is a requirement for all tobacco and vape retailers to be licensed, and powers to remove licences from retailers found guilty of underage and/or illicit sales.”
A Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson stated: “It is illegal to sell nicotine vapes to children and we are concerned about the recent rises in youth vaping – particularly because of the unknown long-term harms.
“We are taking bold action to crack down on youth vaping through the £3 million illicit vapes enforcement squad to tackle underage sales to children.
“We have also launched a call for evidence to identify opportunities to reduce the number of children accessing and using vape products and explore where the government can go further.”