The Health and Social Care Committee of United Kingdom (UK) is calling for the imposition of stricter regulations on disposable vapes to combat the surge in usage among children.
The Committee proposes aligning restrictions on packaging and marketing of vapes with those applied to tobacco products as an effective measure.
They emphasize the importance of maintaining a public health message regarding the potential benefits of vapes for smokers looking to quit, while also ensuring that educational campaigns, enforcement, and regulatory measures keep these products out of the reach of children.
Chairing the Committee, Steve Brine MP, underscored the need for immediate and decisive action from both the government and the vaping industry to safeguard children from the harmful effects of vaping.
He highlighted concerns about the appeal of brightly colored and branded vapes with enticing flavors, reminiscent of unicorns, sweets, and fizzy drinks, displayed in various outlets including newsagents and chicken shops.
Additionally, the Committee was alarmed by reports of hazardous substances, such as hydraulic oil and antifreeze, found in confiscated vapes at schools.
“Decisive action is needed now from both Government and industry to tackle an alarming trend in the number of children vaping and to protect them from its harmful effects.
“It’s clear to us that the vaping industry has not gone far enough to ensure that its products don’t appeal to children. When you have brightly coloured and branded vapes with flavours that name unicorns, sweets and popular fizzy drinks displayed in locations ranging from newsagents to chicken shops, it’s disingenuous for the industry to claim otherwise,” Health and Social Care Committee Chair, Steve Brine MP said.
In light of these issues, the Committee urges the government to concentrate on addressing the impact of vaping in educational settings, including restricted access for young people and potential disruptions to the delivery of education.