Blackpool's top doctor backs government plans to crack down on youth vaping

Tougher measures which would help combat the spread of vaping by children in Blackpool have been welcomed by the town’s director of public health.
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Dr Arif Rajpura has been campaigning for some years for stronger controls to prevent young people using e-cigarettes.

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Under-age vaping putting Blackpool youngsters at risk warns health chief

The recent King’s Speech, which sets out the government’s priorities for the coming year, included tighter controls such as banning fruit flavours, hiding vapes from view in shops and using only plain packaging.

Vaping carries health risks, say doctorsVaping carries health risks, say doctors
Vaping carries health risks, say doctors

The use of disposable vapes could also be banned.

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A consultation is currently taking place into how to tackle the rise in youth vaping, and measures could be brought in once that has been completed.

A survey earlier this year by HealthWatch Blackpool found 31 per cent of young people currently vape or sometimes vape.

Dr Rajpura said: “I have had serious concerns about youth vaping for some years.

“E-cigarettes are an age-restricted product because there is potential for users to become addicted to nicotine-containing e-cigarettes.

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Vaping is not a risk-free alternative, particularly for those who have never smoked, and we do not yet know the long-term effects of vaping on health.

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“I welcome these proposals and would support the introduction of plain packaging of vapes and the banning of single use vapes.”

A new tax on e-cigarettes is also proposed to make vapes more expensive (although they are already subject to VAT), as they are currently significantly cheaper than cigarettes.

However campaigners do not want to detract from vapes being used as an aid to quitting smoking tobacco.