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UK Considers Ban on Fruit and Sweet-Flavoured Disposable Vapes for Teenagers

UK Considers Ban on Fruit and Sweet-Flavoured Disposable Vapes for Teenagers 

According to reports, fruit and sweet-flavoured disposable vapes could be prohibited for teenagers as ministers are expected to introduce access restrictions on vapes for those under the age of 18. Neil O’Brien, a minister for public health, will call for evidence soon to restrict access to nicotine products for those aged under 18. The review will likely scrutinize the appearance and features of vape products, including branding, marketing, colours, and flavours. Ministers will also investigate how such products are promoted on social media, amid concerns that the brightly-coloured packaging and flavour names are enticing young customers.

In a major speech on smoking next month, Mr O’Brien is expected to launch an expert consultation on protecting young people. The MP for Harborough is also expected to respond formally to an independent review by Dr Javed Khan OBE into the government’s ambition to make England and Wales smoke-free by 2030. Dr Khan’s review proposed banning smoking in outdoor spaces and mandating anti-smoking messages on cigarette sticks, among other measures.

According to NHS data from 2021, 5% of all adults were classified as current e-cigarette users. The data also revealed that almost one in ten 11 to 15-year-olds vaped compared to just six per cent in 2018, and almost one in five among over 15s. The government remains committed to preventing smoking and supporting people to quit, as smoking kills.

However, The Sun claims that ministers are expected to reject Dr Khan’s recommendations, including mandating anti-smoking messages on cigarette sticks and using dissuasive colours on cigarette packaging. A Whitehall source told the newspaper, “That is not something we are looking at taking forward.”

The government’s priority is to prevent people from smoking and support them to quit as smoking kills. The Department for Health and Social Care spokesperson said, “The government remains committed to our ambition to be smokefree by 2030.” The increasing number of young people vaping is a cause for concern, and the proposed restrictions on access to fruit and sweet-flavoured disposable vapes aim to address this issue.

It remains to be seen what specific measures will be put in place following the review, but the government’s efforts to discourage smoking and vaping among young people are likely to continue. The ultimate goal is to create a smoke-free society by 2030, which will require a concerted effort from the government, healthcare professionals, and society as a whole.

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