Ban Disposable E-Cigarettes to Protect Children: Commissioner

Ban Disposable E-Cigarettes to Protect Children: Commissioner
England's Children’s Commissioner calls for a ban on disposable e-cigarettes and plain packaging for other products, to protect young people.

On June 8th, Sir Rachel de Souza, England's Children's Commissioner, stated that single-use e-cigarettes should be banned and called for other e-cigarette products to adopt plain packaging in order to curb harm to young people.

Sirsa expressed deep concern for children, who feel pressure to use e-cigarettes and even avoid using them in school restrooms.

It is despicable to intentionally market these products towards children.

Her opinion is in line with that of England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty. Earlier this week, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) also called for a ban on disposable electronic cigarettes and stated that e-cigarettes are "not risk-free products.

Sir Sosa has released a new study that includes survey results from 3,500 children between the ages of 8 and 17 and their parents. The survey found that young people are worried about peer pressure and the promotion of e-cigarettes on social media.

Sir Sosa stated:

We urgently need to strengthen regulation of this lawless market. These products are deliberately marketed towards children, whether online or offline.

She argued that the sale of "nicotine-free" e-cigarettes to children should be banned and welcomed the government's scrutiny in this area. However, she also stated that e-cigarettes should only be sold in plain packaging to prevent attraction to young people. Additionally, e-cigarette products should be required to label the age of sale, similar to tobacco products.

She added that the news of children feeling pressure to use e-cigarettes is deeply concerning, and the government urgently needs to strengthen regulation of this "lawless" market.

Children should lead a long, happy, and healthy life. That is why I firmly state that no child should smoke or use e-cigarettes.

According to data from the Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) organization, the proportion of UK children attempting to use e-cigarettes has increased by 50% in the past year, as of May. The data reveals that among teenagers aged 11 to 17, the proportion trying e-cigarettes has risen from 7.7% last year to 11.6% this year.

Disposable e-cigarettes are the preferred choice of electronic cigarette products among young people, and electronic cigarettes are mainly purchased at convenience stores.

The electronic usage among children in the UK has increased by 800% in the last three years.

Sir Rachel de Souza stated:

In 2021, it is least likely for children using e-cigarettes to purchase disposable e-cigarettes (around 7.7%). However, in 2022, disposable e-cigarettes become the most commonly used product (52%), and by 2023 this is projected to increase to 69%.

It is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18, yet teenagers have been posting on social media about colorful electronic cigarettes and discussing flavors such as pink lemonade, strawberry, banana, and mango.

She added:

There are concerns about some students being unable to focus in class and use their electronic cigarettes. Additionally, some students are avoiding school bathrooms due to peer pressure.

A spokesperson for the UK Department of Health and Social Care stated:

Selling nicotine electronic cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18 is illegal. We are concerned about the recent increase in smoking rates among adolescents, particularly because the long-term risks are still unclear.


Commissioner advocates for ban on disposable vapes to protect children.

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