A crackdown is needed to stop kids buying e-cigarettes, experts warn Science and technology news


Experts have called for a crackdown on selling vapes to children to avoid exposing them to unnecessary risk.

Researchers found that although it was clear that vaping was better than smoking in the short and medium term, but little is known about its long-term health effects.

Although the study, commissioned by the Ministry of Health, came to the conclusion smoker should be encouraged to switch to vaping, it said more research is needed into the risks for those who have never smoked or vaped.

A study published in July found that the proportion of children vaping has increased in recent years, with many teens being influenced by sites like TikTok.

Newer single-use e-cigarettes, sometimes called ‘puff bars’, are becoming increasingly popular with children, partly because of their affordable price (around £5) and variety of fruity flavours.

A survey of children commissioned by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) found that vaping among children ages 11 to 17 has increased from 4% in 2020 to 7% this year.

In 2013, 3% of children aged 11 to 15 had ever vaped, but that proportion rose to 8% in 2020 and 10% this year.

The new King’s College London study concluded that smokers who switch to vaping are significantly less exposed to toxins that promote cancer, lung disease and cardiovascular disease.

But people who have never smoked shouldn’t start vaping because it’s not risk-free, it said.

Regarding the sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s, the study said that local authorities’ efforts on trading standards “have been shut down and compliance with regulations is not enough to prevent underage sales and access to illegal products “.

Continue reading:
‘Vaping revolution’: 350,000 Brits who vape have never smoked
Teenage vaping has become a “route to nicotine addiction.”

It added that “more frequent monitoring of single-use vaping products” popular with children is now needed.

Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London and lead author of the study, said: “Smoking is uniquely deadly and will kill one in two regular heavy smokers, but around two thirds of adult smokers would really benefit from switching from vaping to vaping less is harmful.

“However, the evidence we reviewed suggests that vaping is most likely not risk-free.

“That’s why we strongly advise anyone who has never smoked not to start vaping or smoking.”

dr Jeanelle DeGruchy, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “The message is clear: if you have a choice between smoking and vaping, choose vaping.

“If you have to choose between vaping and fresh air, choose fresh air.”

In England there are about six million smokers and about 3.8 million vapers.

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