Will the UK Move to Ban Flavoured e-Cigarettes?

Will the UK Move to Ban Flavoured e-Cigarettes?

Donald Trump has recently proposed a ban on flavoured e-cigarettes in order to stem the huge numbers of young people who have taken up vaping. Over the summer, worrying reports of 6 deaths and hundreds of vaping-related hospitalisations shone a spotlight on the hugely successful e-cigarette industry in the US. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are currently working to remove all flavours from sale, except tobacco.

The European Response to Vaping

The European Respiratory Society, made up of scientists and doctors from around the world, has published an influential paper on the dangers of e-cigarettes to children. The committee expresses concern at the marketing of e-cigarettes as a healthier option than tobacco-based products. Vaping is recognised as an addictive activity, because of the presence of nicotine in e-cigarettes. They call for an immediate ban on flavourings, which are seen as marketing to young people.

“Product design, flavours, marketing, and perception of safety and acceptability have increased the appeal of e-cigarettes to young people. These products are ‘normalising’ smoking and leading to new generations addicted to nicotine.”

Public Health England Maintains Original Stance on Vaping

The stance of Public Health England (PHE) on vaping has always been that vaping helps adults addicted to tobacco cigarettes to quit. Heavy restrictions on the marketing of vaping products in the UK also means that young people can’t be targeted as consumers.

Regarding the health concerns, the NHS website states:

“In the UK, e-cigarettes are tightly regulated for safety and quality. They’re not completely risk free, but they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes. E-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke. The liquid and vapour contain some potentially harmful chemicals also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.”

A Note of Caution from Dame Sally Davies

The outgoing Chief Medical Officer for the UK, has asked for further consideration of impact vaping might have on the health of consumers. She described the issue as a ‘ticking time bomb’ that could have long-term consequences. She has also asked for a ban on vaping in public places. Her reasons are twofold; first she views them as a pollutant, and secondly she’s concerned that we shouldn’t set an example for the next generation of potential consumers.

Current Regulations on e-Cigarettes in the UK

At present, it’s illegal to sell e-cigarettes, or e-liquid to anyone in the UK under the age of 18. It’s also illegal to purchase any cigarette product containing nicotine for, or on behalf of someone under the age of 18. Retailers are required to have age verification processes in place in order to ensure that they are able to comply with these regulations.

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AgeChecked provides online age verification for websites that sell age-restricted goods and services.

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