UK Health Committee Calls for Restrictions on Disposable vape

On July 19, the Guardian reported that the UK’s healthandsocialcarecommittee strongly urged the government to restrict the packaging and marketing of disposable e-cigarettes in response to a “worrying trend” in the use of these addictive products by children. The committee suggests that restrictions should be placed on the marketing of e-cigarettes, in line with those applied to tobacco products.

20.5% of minors have experienced e-cigarettes

MPs expressed concern about the disruption caused by e-cigarettes in schools and heard from a principal who said he had found hydraulic fluid and antifreeze in confiscated e-cigarettes.

Disposable e-cigarettes have gained immense popularity in recent times, with the proportion of 11- to 18-year-olds using e-cigarettes (7.6%) already exceeding the proportion using cigarettes (3.6%) since 2021.

As per its latest survey by Action on Smoking and Health, 20.5% of minors have experienced using e-cigarettes, up from 15.8% in 2022 and 13.9% prior to the first New Crown Epidemic blockade.

Minors are also illegally obtaining e-cigarettes, some of which often contain high levels of lead, nickel and chromium. A Freedom of Information request to 125 local authorities revealed that more than 2.5 million illegal e-cigarettes have been collected since 2020.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents England and Wales, warned that disposable e-cigarettes are causing environmental damage and called for them to be banned. They have also voiced concerns about the use of e-cigarettes by young people.

Steve Brine, UK Conservative MP and chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, made it clear that the government and the e-cigarette industry need to take decisive action.

“There is a worrying trend in the number of minors using e-cigarettes and it is important to protect them from their harmful effects.”

Strong call for government to assess excise tax on disposable e-cigarettes

Bryan suggests that the e-cigarette industry has not done enough to ensure that their products do not appeal to children. When people see brightly colored and clearly branded e-cigarettes on newsstands or in fried chicken stores, the industry’s claim to deny that they appeal to children is clearly disingenuous.

“Ministers need to work across departments to focus on the impact of e-cigarettes in schools, whether it’s installing triggered smoke alarms in toilets or restricting young people’s access to e-cigarettes altogether.”

The Health Committee believes the government can ensure that it makes these products invisible and inaccessible to children while maintaining public awareness of the potential value of e-cigarettes to smokers.

MPs have called for a review of trading standards enforcement powers in order to prevent e-cigarettes being sold to children. They also urged the government to assess the impact of an excise duty on disposable e-cigarettes in order to stop the importation of illegal products.

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it was illegal to sell nicotine e-cigarettes to children and that they were “concerned about the recent rise in e-cigarette smoking amongst young people, particularly the use of disposable e-cigarettes”.

They have launched an evidence survey on “reducing children’s access to and use of e-cigarette products” and “will consider a range of options”.