Paediatricians Call For A Ban On Disposable Vapes
Last week, children’s doctors in the United Kingdom RCPCH expressed discontent against disposable vapes. They claimed it was bad for the environment and was endangering young people. So they called on the government to completely ban the items.
That was in response to the larger conversation at hand – the increased level of use among young people.
Growing Rate Among Young Children
A recent YouGov survey for Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) shows 11.6% of 11 to 17-year-olds now experiment with vaping in 2023. It is a 3.9% increase from the 7.7% recorded in 2022. Reports further prove that some students struggle to concentrate in school due to the rising addiction.
Earlier this month, a BBC investigation uncovered the confiscation of harmful levels of lead, nickel, and chromium in vapes from a secondary school. RCPCH vice-president and paediatric respiratory consultant Dr Mike McKean said that youth vaping is fast becoming an epidemic among children, and he fears that the nation will sleepwalk into a crisis unless there’s a regulation in place.
Calls For a Ban as It Could Cause Untold Damage
The children’s commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, urged the government to regulate the advertisement of vapes to children. She said, “Children deserve to lead long, happy, healthy lives, which is why I am unequivocal in my view that no child should be smoking or vaping.”
Dame Rachel further said stricter regulations should be enforced in the market, which she termed the “wild west”. She believes marketing vapes to children, both online and offline, is a subtle attempt to indoctrinate them into a slippery slope of addiction.
The Department of Health and Social Care confirmed that selling vapes to underaged children is illegal. “We are taking a bold action to crack down on youth vaping through the £3m illicit vapes enforcement squad to tackle underage sales to kids.”
Organisers of the Glastonbury festival showed solidarity with the cause. They asked fans to refrain from bringing disposable vapes to the venue. The event, with the next edition kicking off from 21-25 June 2023, has actively supported environmental health since its inception in 1970.
PM Sunak Takes a Stand Against It
The UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, agrees that child vaping is harmful. He expressed concern about his two young daughters potentially being targeted by vape marketing. The government has now decided to review the situation and fine shops caught illegally selling vapes to children. A move that would see local regulation officers issue on-the-spot penalties to offenders.
There are no nationwide legal restrictions to outdoor vaping for adults presently. The electronic device is permitted in the UK except in specific organisations or public places with standing rules against them. The government allows individual businesses to decide their policies regarding vaping.
However, an anti-smoke campaign group, UKVIA, feels differently about the situation. They believe the prohibition of electronic cigarettes would negatively affect adults trying to quit smoking and increase the use of illegal vapes.
While both paediatricians and the UKVIA have solid arguments, the reality is that as long as young people keep accessing vapes, they’re a danger to themselves and the community.