UK to Seek Public Opinion on Reducing Appeal of Vapes to Underage Youth

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UK to Seek Public Opinion on Reducing Appeal of Vapes to Underage Youth
UK to release public consultation seeking views on how e-cigarettes can help smokers quit while reducing appeal to under-18s.

According to a report from Expressandstar on October 12th, the UK is set to introduce a new public consultation seeking opinions on how e-cigarettes can help smokers quit while also reducing their appeal to underage teenagers. Some of the options under consideration include a complete ban on the sale of disposable e-cigarettes, restrictions on their sale, and ensuring they are not marketed with various flavors and colors that may attract young people.


The consultation will last for eight weeks and suggestions include limiting e-cigarette flavors, regulating e-cigarette packaging, possibly introducing more plain packaging, determining whether they can be displayed, and increasing the price of e-cigarettes to ensure a minimum selling price. Restrictions on e-cigarette flavors might include prohibiting the use of terms like "cotton candy" or "cupcake" and only allowing generic flavor descriptions. Other suggestions include banning the use of cartoon characters and child-friendly imagery on e-cigarette packaging and the devices themselves.


The Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and Children's Commissioner Dame Rachel de Souza have released data in May showing a 50% increase in the past year in smoking rates among children. They are calling for a complete ban on the sale of disposable e-cigarettes. The data reveals that disposable e-cigarettes are the preferred choice among teenagers, with most purchases of e-cigarettes being made from stores.


The UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced plans to consider "restricting the sale of disposable e-cigarettes, which is clearly linked to the increase in child smoking." The government states that they want to address the issue of e-cigarettes while continuing to support adult smokers in transitioning from traditional cigarettes. The comprehensive consultation in the UK will also explore whether local authorities can be granted new powers to immediately fine retailers selling e-cigarettes to minors. Selling e-cigarettes to individuals under 18 is illegal, but there have been instances on social media where teenagers have posted pictures of brightly colored e-cigarettes and discussed flavors such as pink lemonade, strawberry, banana, and mango. Many e-cigarettes also contain addictive nicotine.


Earlier, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced plans to ban the legal purchase of cigarettes for children aged 14 and below, stating that he would waste no time in fulfilling this commitment. He added: [Please provide the continuation of the sentence.]


Our ambitious plan aims to reverse the upward trend in teenage smoking rates and protect our children from the dangers of smoking as soon as possible.


The Minister of Health and Social Care, Steve Barclay, has expressed concern over the significant increase in smoking rates among children, attributing it to the attractiveness and availability of e-cigarettes. He emphasized that children should never use e-cigarettes and stated the commitment to reverse this trend. Barclay added that bold measures need to be taken in order to protect future generations from the harmful effects of smoking addiction, as smoking damages health at every stage of life and causes billions of dollars in economic losses.


Sir Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, has stated that ensuring people do not become addicted to smoking and helping them quit is one of the most effective interventions for health. He exclaimed, "Smoking cessation may be beneficial for smokers, but promoting it to non-smokers and children is utterly unacceptable.


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